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The Effects of 9/11 Attack on America

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The Impact of The 9/11 Tragedy on The Marketplace in The Reluctant Fundamentalist

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Conspiracy Theory: No Truth About 9/11

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September 11, 2001

New York City, New York, U.S.

The tragic events of September 11, 2001, commonly known as the 9/11 attacks, involved a series of coordinated hijackings and deliberate suicide attacks carried out by 19 militants affiliated with the extremist Islamic group al-Qaeda. These attacks, which remain the deadliest acts of terrorism on American soil, targeted several locations in the United States. The hijackers were successful in crashing two planes into the iconic North and South Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, causing their eventual collapse. Another plane struck the Pentagon, the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense, located in Arlington, Virginia. The fourth plane, intended for a federal government building in Washington, D.C., was heroically thwarted by passengers who revolted, resulting in its crash in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. These heinous acts had a profound impact on global security, reshaping the course of international relations and forever altering the lives of countless individuals affected by the tragedy.

The 9/11 attacks were a culmination of various historical factors and events that set the stage for this tragic event. The primary cause behind the attacks can be traced to the rise of Islamic extremism, particularly the extremist group al-Qaeda, led by Osama bin Laden. It emerged as a response to perceived injustices faced by Muslims, including the presence of American military forces in the Middle East and U.S. foreign policies in the region. The prerequisites leading to the attacks involved a combination of factors, such as ideological radicalization, recruitment efforts, and meticulous planning by the terrorists. These efforts aimed to exploit existing vulnerabilities within the aviation security system and target symbolic landmarks in the United States. Additionally, geopolitical conflicts, such as the Soviet-Afghan War and the Gulf War, played a role in shaping the ideological landscape and providing a breeding ground for extremist ideologies. The attacks were also facilitated by intelligence failures and a lack of coordination between various agencies responsible for counterterrorism efforts.

The effects of the 9/11 attacks were far-reaching and had a profound impact on various aspects of society. Primarily, the attacks resulted in the loss of thousands of innocent lives and caused immense physical destruction, particularly with the collapse of the World Trade Center towers in New York City and the damage to the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. The attacks had significant socio-political consequences. They led to a heightened sense of fear and insecurity within the United States and around the world. The incident prompted the implementation of stricter security measures, including enhanced airport screenings and increased surveillance efforts, to prevent future terrorist acts. Moreover, the attacks influenced U.S. foreign policy, leading to military interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq. The attacks also had economic repercussions. The destruction of the World Trade Center had a severe impact on global financial markets and the economy, leading to a decline in stock markets and increased job losses. Additionally, the attacks had a lasting psychological impact, causing trauma and grief among survivors, families of the victims, and communities affected by the events.

The 9/11 attacks have had a significant impact on media and literature, with numerous works exploring the events, their aftermath, and their implications. Various forms of media, including films, documentaries, books, and poems, have depicted the 9/11 attacks and their consequences. One notable example is the film "United 93" (2006), directed by Paul Greengrass. The movie reconstructs the events aboard United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed in Pennsylvania after passengers attempted to regain control from the hijackers. The film offers a gripping and emotional portrayal of the heroic actions taken by the passengers in the face of tragedy. Another prominent work is "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close" (2005), a novel by Jonathan Safran Foer. The book follows a young boy named Oskar Schell, who lost his father in the World Trade Center collapse. Through Oskar's perspective, the novel explores themes of grief, trauma, and the search for meaning in the aftermath of the attacks.

The 9/11 attacks had a profound impact on public opinion, eliciting a range of responses and shaping perceptions worldwide. In the immediate aftermath, people expressed feelings of anger towards the perpetrators and a desire for justice to be served. The attacks also sparked debates and discussions on various topics, including national security, terrorism, and foreign policy. Public opinion regarding the government's response to the attacks and the subsequent military interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq varied, with some supporting the actions taken and others expressing concerns about civil liberties and the potential escalation of conflicts. Furthermore, the 9/11 attacks prompted increased awareness and scrutiny of issues related to religious tolerance, Islamophobia, and the treatment of Muslim communities. Public discourse on these topics became more prominent, reflecting a heightened focus on understanding and combating prejudice.

1. The collapse of the Twin Towers following the 9/11 attacks remains a striking fact. The South Tower (WTC 2) collapsed only 56 minutes after being hit by United Airlines Flight 175, while the North Tower (WTC 1) collapsed 102 minutes after being struck by American Airlines Flight 11. These unprecedented structural failures shocked the world and demonstrated the devastating impact of the attacks. 2. The 9/11 attacks resulted in a tragic loss of life. In total, 2,977 people from over 90 countries lost their lives in the attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and aboard United Airlines Flight 93. Among the casualties were not only office workers and first responders but also individuals from diverse backgrounds, including tourists, airline passengers, and individuals attending business meetings. 3. Economic consequences: The attacks had a profound impact on the economy, not only in terms of immediate destruction but also long-term effects. It is estimated that the attacks caused a loss of $123 billion in economic output during the first two to four weeks. Additionally, sectors such as tourism, aviation, and finance experienced significant disruptions and faced substantial financial losses, leading to a ripple effect on employment and global markets.

The topic of the 9/11 attacks holds significant importance as it marks a pivotal moment in contemporary history that changed the global landscape in numerous ways. Understanding and exploring this event through an essay allows for a comprehensive examination of its profound impact on society, politics, security, and international relations. Firstly, the 9/11 attacks shattered the sense of security and invulnerability that many nations had previously enjoyed. It exposed vulnerabilities in security systems, leading to significant changes in counterterrorism measures and policies worldwide. Secondly, the attacks prompted a reevaluation of international relations and the United States' role in global affairs. It fueled the war on terror, leading to military interventions, the establishment of new alliances, and shifts in foreign policies. Furthermore, the 9/11 attacks raised important questions about religious extremism, ideological motivations, and the delicate balance between security and civil liberties. Examining these aspects in an essay fosters critical thinking and provides an opportunity to delve into the complexities surrounding terrorism and its aftermath.

1. National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States. (2004). The 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States. W. W. Norton & Company. 2. Summers, A., & Swan, R. (2011). The Eleventh Day: The Full Story of 9/11 and Osama bin Laden. Ballantine Books. 3. Jenkins, B. M. (2006). The 9/11 Wars. Hill and Wang. 4. Smith, M. L. (2011). Why War? The Cultural Logic of Iraq, the Gulf War, and Suez. University of Chicago Press. 5. Bowden, M. (2006). Guests of the Ayatollah: The Iran Hostage Crisis: The First Battle in America's War with Militant Islam. Grove Press. 6. Wright, L. (2006). The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11. Vintage. 7. Bamford, J. (2008). The Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America. Anchor Books. 8. Thompson, W., & Thompson, S. (2011). The Disappearance of the Social in American Social Psychology. Cambridge University Press. 9. Boyle, M. (2007). Media Mythmakers: How Journalists, Activists, and Advertisers Mislead Us. Potomac Books. 10. Zelikow, P., & Shenon, P. (2021). The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions. Interlink Publishing Group.

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college essay about 9/11

Two Decades Later, the Enduring Legacy of 9/11

Americans watched in horror as the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, left nearly 3,000 people dead in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Nearly 20 years later, they watched in sorrow as the nation’s military mission in Afghanistan – which began less than a month after 9/11 – came to a bloody and chaotic conclusion.

Table of Contents

Chart shows 9/11 a powerful memory for Americans – but only for adults old enough to remember

The enduring power of the Sept. 11 attacks is clear: An overwhelming share of Americans who are old enough to recall the day remember where they were and what they were doing when they heard the news. Yet an ever-growing number of Americans have no personal memory of that day, either because they were too young or not yet born.

A review of U.S. public opinion in the two decades since 9/11 reveals how a badly shaken nation came together, briefly, in a spirit of sadness and patriotism; how the public initially rallied behind the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, though support waned over time; and how Americans viewed the threat of terrorism at home and the steps the government took to combat it.

As the country comes to grips with the tumultuous exit of U.S. military forces from Afghanistan, the departure has raised long-term questions about U.S. foreign policy and America’s place in the world. Yet the public’s initial judgments on that mission are clear: A majority endorses the decision to withdraw from Afghanistan, even as it criticizes the Biden administration’s handling of the situation. And after a war that cost thousands of lives – including more than 2,000 American service members – and trillions of dollars in military spending, a new Pew Research Center survey finds that 69% of U.S. adults say the United States has mostly failed to achieve its goals in Afghanistan.

This examination of how the United States changed in the two decades following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks is based on an analysis of past public opinion survey data from Pew Research Center, news reports and other sources.

Current data is from a Pew Research Center survey of 10,348 U.S. adults conducted Aug. 23-29, 2021. Most of the interviewing was conducted before the Aug. 26 suicide bombing at Kabul airport, and all of it was conducted before the completion of the evacuation. Everyone who took part is a member of the Center’s American Trends Panel (ATP), an online survey panel that is recruited through national, random sampling of residential addresses. This way nearly all U.S. adults have a chance of selection. The survey is weighted to be representative of the U.S. adult population by gender, race, ethnicity, partisan affiliation, education and other categories. Read more about the  ATP’s methodology .

Here are the questions used  for the report, along with responses, and  its methodology .

A devastating emotional toll, a lasting historical legacy

Shock, sadness, fear, anger: The 9/11 attacks inflicted a devastating emotional toll on Americans. But as horrible as the events of that day were, a 63% majority of Americans said they couldn’t stop watching news coverage of the attacks.

Chart shows days after 9/11, nearly all Americans said they felt sad; most felt depressed

Our first survey following the attacks went into the field just days after 9/11, from Sept. 13-17, 2001. A sizable majority of adults (71%) said they felt depressed, nearly half (49%) had difficulty concentrating and a third said they had trouble sleeping.

It was an era in which television was still the public’s dominant news source – 90% said they got most of their news about the attacks from television, compared with just 5% who got news online – and the televised images of death and destruction had a powerful impact. Around nine-in-ten Americans (92%) agreed with the statement, “I feel sad when watching TV coverage of the terrorist attacks.” A sizable majority (77%) also found it frightening to watch – but most did so anyway.

Americans were enraged by the attacks, too. Three weeks after 9/11 , even as the psychological stress began to ease somewhat, 87% said they felt angry about the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

Fear was widespread, not just in the days immediately after the attacks, but throughout the fall of 2001. Most Americans said they were very (28%) or somewhat (45%) worried about another attack . When asked a year later to describe how their lives changed in a major way, about half of adults said they felt more afraid, more careful, more distrustful or more vulnerable as a result of the attacks.

college essay about 9/11

Even after the immediate shock of 9/11 had subsided, concerns over terrorism remained at higher levels in major cities – especially New York and Washington – than in small towns and rural areas. The personal impact of the attacks also was felt more keenly in the cities directly targeted: Nearly a year after 9/11, about six-in-ten adults in the New York (61%) and Washington (63%) areas said the attacks had changed their lives at least a little, compared with 49% nationwide. This sentiment was shared by residents of other large cities. A quarter of people who lived in large cities nationwide said their lives had changed in a major way – twice the rate found in small towns and rural areas.

The impacts of the Sept. 11 attacks were deeply felt and slow to dissipate. By the following August, half of U.S. adults said the country “had changed in a major way” – a number that actually increased , to 61%, 10 years after the event .

A year after the attacks, in an open-ended question, most Americans – 80% – cited 9/11 as the most important event that had occurred in the country during the previous year. Strikingly, a larger share also volunteered it as the most important thing that happened to them personally in the prior year (38%) than mentioned other typical life events, such as births or deaths. Again, the personal impact was much greater in New York and Washington, where 51% and 44%, respectively, pointed to the attacks as the most significant personal event over the prior year.

Chart shows in 2016 – 15 years after 9/11 – the attacks continued to be seen as one of the public’s top historical events

Just as memories of 9/11 are firmly embedded in the minds of most Americans old enough to recall the attacks, their historical importance far surpasses other events in people’s lifetimes. In a survey conducted by Pew Research Center in association with A+E Networks’ HISTORY in 2016 – 15 years after 9/11 – 76% of adults named the Sept. 11 attacks as one of the 10 historical events of their lifetime that had the greatest impact on the country. The election of Barack Obama as the first Black president was a distant second, at 40%.

The importance of 9/11 transcended age, gender, geographic and even political differences. The 2016 study noted that while partisans agreed on little else that election cycle, more than seven-in-ten Republicans and Democrats named the attacks as one of their top 10 historic events.

college essay about 9/11

9/11 transformed U.S. public opinion, but many of its impacts were short-lived

It is difficult to think of an event that so profoundly transformed U.S. public opinion across so many dimensions as the 9/11 attacks. While Americans had a shared sense of anguish after Sept. 11, the months that followed also were marked by rare spirit of public unity.

Chart shows trust in government spiked following Sept. 11 terror attack

Patriotic sentiment surged in the aftermath of 9/11. After the U.S. and its allies launched airstrikes against Taliban and al-Qaida forces in early October 2001, 79% of adults said they had displayed an American flag. A year later, a 62% majority said they had often felt patriotic as a result of the 9/11 attacks.

Moreover, the public largely set aside political differences and rallied in support of the nation’s major institutions, as well as its political leadership. In October 2001, 60% of adults expressed trust in the federal government – a level not reached in the previous three decades, nor approached in the two decades since then.

George W. Bush, who had become president nine months earlier after a fiercely contested election, saw his job approval rise 35 percentage points in the space of three weeks. In late September 2001, 86% of adults – including nearly all Republicans (96%) and a sizable majority of Democrats (78%) – approved of the way Bush was handling his job as president.

Americans also turned to religion and faith in large numbers. In the days and weeks after 9/11, most Americans said they were praying more often. In November 2001, 78% said religion’s influence in American life was increasing, more than double the share who said that eight months earlier and – like public trust in the federal government – the highest level in four decades .

Public esteem rose even for some institutions that usually are not that popular with Americans. For example, in November 2001, news organizations received record-high ratings for professionalism. Around seven-in-ten adults (69%) said they “stand up for America,” while 60% said they protected democracy.

Yet in many ways, the “9/11 effect” on public opinion was short-lived. Public trust in government, as well as confidence in other institutions, declined throughout the 2000s. By 2005, following another major national tragedy – the government’s mishandling of the relief effort for victims of Hurricane Katrina – just 31% said they trusted the federal government, half the share who said so in the months after 9/11. Trust has remained relatively low for the past two decades: In April of this year, only 24% said they trusted the government just about always or most of the time.

Bush’s approval ratings, meanwhile, never again reached the lofty heights they did shortly after 9/11. By the end of his presidency, in December 2008, just 24% approved of his job performance.

college essay about 9/11

U.S. military response: Afghanistan and Iraq

With the U.S. now formally out of Afghanistan – and with the Taliban firmly in control of the country – most Americans (69%) say the U.S. failed in achieving its goals in Afghanistan.

Chart shows broad initial support for U.S. military action against 9/11 terrorists, even if it entailed thousands of U.S. casualties

But 20 years ago, in the days and weeks following 9/11, Americans overwhelmingly supported military action against those responsible for the attacks. In mid-September 2001, 77% favored U.S. military action, including the deployment of ground forces, “to retaliate against whoever is responsible for the terrorist attacks, even if that means U.S. armed forces might suffer thousands of casualties.”

Many Americans were impatient for the Bush administration to give the go-ahead for military action. In a late September 2001 survey, nearly half the public (49%) said their larger concern was that the Bush administration would not strike quickly enough against the terrorists; just 34% said they worried the administration would move too quickly.

Even in the early stages of the U.S. military response, few adults expected a military operation to produce quick results: 69% said it would take months or years to dismantle terrorist networks, including 38% who said it would take years and 31% who said it would take several months. Just 18% said it would take days or weeks.

The public’s support for military intervention was evident in other ways as well. Throughout the fall of 2001, more Americans said the best way to prevent future terrorism was to take military action abroad rather than build up defenses at home. In early October 2001, 45% prioritized military action to destroy terrorist networks around the world, while 36% said the priority should be to build terrorism defenses at home.

college essay about 9/11

Initially, the public was confident that the U.S. military effort to destroy terrorist networks would succeed. A sizable majority (76%) was confident in the success of this mission, with 39% saying they were very confident.

Support for the war in Afghanistan continued at a high level for several years to come. In a survey conducted in early 2002, a few months after the start of the war, 83% of Americans said they approved of the U.S.-led military campaign against the Taliban and al-Qaida in Afghanistan. In 2006, several years after the United States began combat operations in Afghanistan, 69% of adults said the U.S. made the right decision in using military force in Afghanistan. Only two-in-ten said it was the wrong decision.

Chart shows public support for withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan increased after Osama bin Laden was killed in 2011

But as the conflict dragged on, first through Bush’s presidency and then through Obama’s administration, support wavered and a growing share of Americans favored the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan. In June 2009, during Obama’s first year in office, 38% of Americans said U.S. troops should be removed from Afghanistan as soon as possible. The share favoring a speedy troop withdrawal increased over the next few years. A turning point came in May 2011, when U.S. Navy SEALs launched a risky operation against Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan and killed the al-Qaida leader.

The public reacted to bin Laden’s death with more of a sense of relief than jubilation . A month later, for the first time , a majority of Americans (56%) said that U.S. forces should be brought home as soon as possible, while 39% favored U.S. forces in the country until the situation had stabilized.

Over the next decade, U.S. forces in Afghanistan were gradually drawn down, in fits and starts, over the administrations of three presidents – Obama, Donald Trump and Joe Biden. Meanwhile, public support for the decision to use force in Afghanistan, which had been widespread at the start of the conflict, declined . Today, after the tumultuous exit of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, a slim majority of adults (54%) say the decision to withdraw troops from the country was the right decision; 42% say it was the wrong decision. 

There was a similar trajectory in public attitudes toward a much more expansive conflict that was part of what Bush termed the “war on terror”: the U.S. war in Iraq. Throughout the contentious, yearlong debate before the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Americans widely supported the use of military force to end Saddam Hussein’s rule in Iraq.

Importantly, most Americans thought – erroneously, as it turned out – there was a direct connection between Saddam Hussein and the 9/11 attacks. In October 2002, 66% said that Saddam helped the terrorists involved in the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

In April 2003, during the first month of the Iraq War, 71% said the U.S. made the right decision to go to war in Iraq. On the 15th anniversary of the war in 2018, just 43% said it was the right decision. As with the case with U.S. involvement in Afghanistan, more Americans said that the U.S. had failed (53%) than succeeded (39%) in achieving its goals in Iraq.

college essay about 9/11

The ‘new normal’: The threat of terrorism after 9/11

There have been no terrorist attacks on the scale of 9/11 in two decades, but from the public’s perspective, the threat has never fully gone away. Defending the country from future terrorist attacks has been at or near the top of Pew Research Center’s annual survey on policy priorities since 2002.

Chart shows terrorism has consistently ranked high on Americans’ list of policy priorities

In January 2002, just months after the 2001 attacks, 83% of Americans said “defending the country from future terrorist attacks” was a top priority for the president and Congress, the highest for any issue. Since then, sizable majorities have continued to cite that as a top policy priority.

Majorities of both Republicans and Democrats have consistently ranked terrorism as a top priority over the past two decades, with some exceptions. Republicans and Republican-leaning independents have remained more likely than Democrats and Democratic leaners to say defending the country from future attacks should be a top priority. In recent years, the partisan gap has grown larger as Democrats began to rank the issue lower relative to other domestic concerns. The public’s concerns about another attack also remained fairly steady in the years after 9/11, through near-misses and the federal government’s numerous “Orange Alerts” – the second-most serious threat level on its color-coded terrorism warning system.

A 2010 analysis of the public’s terrorism concerns found that the share of Americans who said they were very concerned about another attack had ranged from about 15% to roughly 25% since 2002. The only time when concerns were elevated was in February 2003, shortly before the start of the U.S. war in Iraq.

In recent years, the share of Americans who point to terrorism as a major national problem has declined sharply as issues such as the economy, the COVID-19 pandemic and racism have emerged as more pressing problems in the public’s eyes.

Chart shows in recent years, terrorism declined as a ‘very big’ national problem

In 2016, about half of the public (53%) said terrorism was a very big national problem in the country. This declined to about four-in-ten from 2017 to 2019. Last year, only a quarter of Americans said that terrorism was a very big problem.

This year, prior to the U.S. withdrawal of forces from Afghanistan and the subsequent Taliban takeover of the country, a somewhat larger share of adults said domestic terrorism was a very big national problem (35%) than said the same about international terrorism . But much larger shares cited concerns such as the affordability of health care (56%) and the federal budget deficit (49%) as major problems than said that about either domestic or international terrorism.

Still, recent events in Afghanistan raise the possibility that opinion could be changing, at least in the short term. In a late August survey, 89% of Americans said the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan was a threat to the security of the U.S., including 46% who said it was a major threat.

college essay about 9/11

Addressing the threat of terrorism at home and abroad

Just as Americans largely endorsed the use of U.S. military force as a response to the 9/11 attacks, they were initially open to a variety of other far-reaching measures to combat terrorism at home and abroad. In the days following the attack, for example, majorities favored a requirement that all citizens carry national ID cards, allowing the CIA to contract with criminals in pursuing suspected terrorists and permitting the CIA to conduct assassinations overseas when pursuing suspected terrorists.

Chart shows following 9/11, more Americans saw the necessity to sacrifice civil liberties in order to curb terrorism

However, most people drew the line against allowing the government to monitor their own emails and phone calls (77% opposed this). And while 29% supported the establishment of internment camps for legal immigrants from unfriendly countries during times of tension or crisis – along the lines of those in which thousands of Japanese American citizens were confined during World War II – 57% opposed such a measure.

It was clear that from the public’s perspective, the balance between protecting civil liberties and protecting the country from terrorism had shifted. In September 2001 and January 2002, 55% majorities said that, in order to curb terrorism in the U.S., it was necessary for the average citizen to give up some civil liberties. In 1997, just 29% said this would be necessary while 62% said it would not.

For most of the next two decades, more Americans said their bigger concern was that the government had not gone far enough in protecting the country from terrorism than said it went too far in restricting civil liberties.

The public also did not rule out the use of torture to extract information from terrorist suspects. In a 2015 survey of 40 nations, the U.S. was one of only 12 where a majority of the public said the use of torture against terrorists could be justified to gain information about a possible attack.

college essay about 9/11

Views of Muslims, Islam grew more partisan in years after 9/11

Concerned about a possible backlash against Muslims in the U.S. in the days after 9/11, then-President George W. Bush gave a speech to the Islamic Center in Washington, D.C., in which he declared: “Islam is peace.” For a brief period, a large segment of Americans agreed. In November 2001, 59% of U.S. adults had a favorable view of Muslim Americans, up from 45% in March 2001, with comparable majorities of Democrats and Republicans expressing a favorable opinion.

Chart shows Republicans increasingly say Islam is more likely than other religions to encourage violence

This spirit of unity and comity was not to last. In a September 2001 survey, 28% of adults said they had grown more suspicious of people of Middle Eastern descent; that grew to 36% less than a year later.

Republicans, in particular, increasingly came to associate Muslims and Islam with violence. In 2002, just a quarter of Americans – including 32% of Republicans and 23% of Democrats – said Islam was more likely than other religions to encourage violence among its believers. About twice as many (51%) said it was not.

But within the next few years, most Republicans and GOP leaners said Islam was more likely than other religions to encourage violence. Today, 72% of Republicans express this view, according to an August 2021 survey.

Democrats consistently have been far less likely than Republicans to associate Islam with violence. In the Center’s latest survey, 32% of Democrats say this. Still, Democrats are somewhat more likely to say this today than they have been in recent years: In 2019, 28% of Democrats said Islam was more likely than other religions to encourage violence among its believers than other religions.

The partisan gap in views of Muslims and Islam in the U.S. is evident in other meaningful ways. For example, a 2017 survey found that half of U.S. adults said that “Islam is not part of mainstream American society” – a view held by nearly seven-in-ten Republicans (68%) but only 37% of Democrats. In a separate survey conducted in 2017, 56% of Republicans said there was a great deal or fair amount of extremism among U.S. Muslims, with fewer than half as many Democrats (22%) saying the same.

The rise of anti-Muslim sentiment in the aftermath of 9/11 has had a profound effect on the growing number of Muslims living in the United States. Surveys of U.S. Muslims from 2007-2017 found increasing shares saying they have personally experienced discrimination and received public expression of support.

college essay about 9/11

It has now been two decades since the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon and the crash of Flight 93 – where only the courage of passengers and crew possibly prevented an even deadlier terror attack.

For most who are old enough to remember, it is a day that is impossible to forget. In many ways, 9/11 reshaped how Americans think of war and peace, their own personal safety and their fellow citizens. And today, the violence and chaos in a country half a world away brings with it the opening of an uncertain new chapter in the post-9/11 era.

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About Pew Research Center Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world. It conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis and other empirical social science research. Pew Research Center does not take policy positions. It is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts .

People look on as smoke from the burning World Trade Center towers fills up the downtown Manhattan skyline after both buildings were attacked by airplanes on September 11, 2001 in New York City.

Chalkbeat asked readers who were in school on September 11, 2001, to share what they remember about that day, 20 years ago.

Andrew Lichtenstein / Corbis vis Getty Images

On 9/11, they were at school. Here’s what happened inside their classrooms.

Chalkbeat asked teachers and students what they remember about that day of terror 20 years later..

Gabrielle Birkner

Sign up for Chalkbeat’s free weekly newsletter to keep up with how education is changing across the U.S.

It was the beginning of the school day at the beginning of the school year at the beginning of the millennium. Millions of American children were in classrooms on the morning of September 11, 2001, when hijackers flew planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Then-President George W. Bush was in the classroom , too — reading with young Florida students until his chief of staff whispered in his ear: “America is under attack.”

Across the country that morning, there were hushed conversations among teachers and attempts to explain to students what was happening — or shield them from it. Students remember pained looks on their teachers’ faces. Some said it was the reaction of the adults around them, rather than the images of burning buildings and pulverized steel, that conveyed the life-changing nature of the attacks. 

News back then moved slowly by today’s standards. The world was still largely without smartphones or social media. Teachers and students watched the news on boxy TVs strapped to rolling carts that moved between classrooms. Across the country that day, lesson plans were futile. Then, one by one, students were called out of class as parents arrived early to bring them home.

U.S. President George W. Bush (C) makes a telephone call as White House Director Of Communications Dan Bartlett points to video footage of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center from Emma Booker Elementary School on September 11, 2001 in Sarasota, Florida.

U.S. President George W. Bush (center) makes a telephone call as White House Director of Communications Dan Bartlett points to video footage of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center from Emma Booker Elementary School on September 11, 2001 in Sarasota, Florida.

Eric Draper / The White House / Getty Images

In New York City, things were even more dramatic —  the day’s horrific events were playing out nearby. At P.S. 1, in Lower Manhattan, one teacher remembers another lowering the shades so kindergartners wouldn’t see the burning towers out the window. At P.S. 124, a few blocks away, another teacher watched as crowds covered in ash walked toward Brooklyn. New York City educators did their best to provide students a steady hand even as some feared for loved ones who worked in the towers, or struggled to get through to friends and family on jammed phone lines. There were harrowing evacuations,  long walks home, and eerily silent subway rides. 

As for the aftermath of 9/11, some teachers and students recalled with nostalgia how Americans came together, and they wondered if such shows of unity would be possible today. Others saw the attacks as having the opposite effect, citing the rise in Islamophobia, and long, costly, and polarizing wars that are only now ending.

With the 20th anniversary of 9/11 approaching, Chalkbeat asked those in school on that day to share what they remember and what they think K-12 students growing up today should know about the generation-defining terror attacks.

These are their words, edited for length and clarity. 

Paula McDonel was teaching a World Geography class at Collierville High School in Collierville, Tennessee, when a colleague, looking somber, entered her classroom.

She asked me where my husband, a FedEx pilot, was that morning. I said he was home. Only then did she tell me that a commercial plane had struck the World Trade Center. I asked my students if anyone had a parent that was flying on a plane that morning. Our community had many pilots and others who may have been flying. No one in my class did. We had finished our lesson, so I turned on CNN, thinking this would be part of the current events we covered in class that week. We didn’t understand how radically our day was changing.

McDonel is retired and lives in Rosharon, Texas.

A young woman works in a classroom, pointing as she grasps a piece of paper as students listen around her.

Debbie Castellani, seen here c. 2001, was teaching alongside her mentor in Cambridge, Massachusetts when the news broke.

Courtesy of Debbie Castellani

Debbie Castellani, then a student-teacher at Cambridge Rindge and Latin high school in Cambridge, Massachusetts, was teaching a World History class alongside her mentor teacher.

Suddenly, another teacher burst into the room and yelled: “Oh my goodness, the World Trade Center was just bombed!” The students started to chatter, and we tried to calm them, frustrated that this teacher thought it appropriate to share this publicly in front of the students, but also concerned about this news. 

Between periods, my mentor teacher and I were able to slip into a workroom where a science teacher had a television. This was all pre-smartphone. The news featured the first World Trade tower with smoke billowing from the side, and the newscasters were sharing that a plane had crashed into the building. Then, suddenly, we saw the second plane flying into the south tower.

Castellani is now a high school history teacher in Highland Park, Illinois.

Yvette Ho taught kindergarten at P.S. 1 Alfred Smith School in Lower Manhattan. On the morning of 9/11, she remembers hearing a crash, followed by sirens.

I was a new teacher at the school and was so unaware of the events that were taking place just blocks away. I kept teaching. I even brought the class to their scheduled art class. When we arrived at the art room, the class of older children was buzzing with a nervous energy, and the teacher had a look of shock on her face as she lowered the window shades. The fifth-floor room had a direct view of the towers, and the students were witnessing people jumping out of windows.

Ho is an early childhood administrator in New York City.

A teenage girl smiles as she poses for a portrait, wearing a yellow jacket and shirt.

Katie Lootens, seen here c. 2001, was on the school bus when a classmate told her peers that something “bad” happened.

Courtesy of Katie Lootens

Katie Lootens, a seventh grader at Northview Middle School in Indianapolis, was on the school bus just before 9 a.m. Eastern that day.

The last girl to get on told us something “bad” had happened but didn’t know exactly what. When we got to school, half of the students were worried about the attacks, and the other half were worried about a rumor that a kid had brought a gun on the bus. Once we got to homeroom, my teacher had the news on, and we just watched.

The second plane hit during first period, French. Most kids didn’t fully understand what was going on or the gravity of the situation, but we were worried because we had never seen our teachers this worried. Later in the day, my English language arts teacher had us journal our feelings and then share. By social studies that afternoon, I remember my teacher pulling out the map and showing us where Afghanistan was. I remember my math teacher trying to teach us math, but nobody was paying attention, and eventually, he gave up and put the news back on. In band and PE, we had the option to participate in the normal day if we wanted some normalcy, or we could sit out if we wanted.  

Lootens now teaches English learners in Washington, D.C.

A man wearing glasses, a grey jacket, and light blue shirt smiles as he leans on a desk, a laptop sitting just in front of him.

Mike Brown was teaching sixth grade in Williamsburg, Virginia, and many of his students’ parents were members of the military.

Courtesy of Mike Brown

Mike Brown, a sixth grade teacher at Berkeley Middle School in Williamsburg, Virginia, was reviewing the day’s agenda with the students in his homeroom when he heard a commotion outside his classroom.

Middle school teachers very quickly are able to decipher kids running in the hallway. This was not that. I heard an “oh my God,” at which point I walked quickly to look out into the hallway. One of my teacher teammates was approaching the room as I was opening the door. She had a startled look on her face and asked if I was watching TV. When I turned it on, we were immediately heartbroken for the people that were on the plane as well as those in the building that was just hit. But we still thought it was a tragic accident. That only lasted for a minute as the news camera focused on the burning building caught a glimpse of a second plane hitting the second tower. Immediately we knew our country was under attack, and we were sitting in the middle of a military town. A number of my students’ parents were living in the neighborhood solely because they were enlisted in the military. 

Brown is the director of new school development at New Schools for Alabama. He lives in Memphis.

A military helicopter flies in front of the Pentagon on September 14, 2001 in Arlington, Virginia at the impact site where a hijacked airliner crashed into the building.

A military helicopter flies in front of the Pentagon on September 14, 2001 in Arlington, Virginia at the impact site where a hijacked airliner crashed into the building.

Stephen J. Boitano / Getty Images

Eric Nordstrom was a student at Battle Mountain High School in Edwards, Colorado. When the news first broke, Nordstrom’s English teacher, Mr. Loetscher, took the class down to the cafeteria, where there were TVs with cable.

Prior to the second plane hitting, it seemed like there was confusion over what was happening. The second strike made it clear that it was an attack, which made things more terrifying and confusing, especially to a high school student. 

Now, looking back, I mostly think about all of the terrible things that have emanated from that terrible day. Whether it’s the lives lost, the money squandered that we could have done actual good with, the many stupid policies that came out of the aftermath that do nothing to keep us safe, or how it caused so many people to abandon their moral compasses and embrace hate. I think about the anti-Islam hate that spiked overnight.

Nordstrom lives in Vail, Colorado.

Alex Tronolone, a junior at Curtis High School in Staten Island, was the photographer for his school’s yearbook and newspaper. After the first plane crashed into the north tower, he was called out of class to snap some pictures. As he made his way up to the roof, where the janitors were looking out at the towers, Tronolone was imagining a small passenger plane.

When I finally got to the roof, you could tell it was more than that. While I was up there, the first tower fell. At first, it looked like water was being used to put out the fires, but as the smoke spread and cleared, it became obvious that the tower fell. After that, I returned to class, incredulous. I remember looking at my watch to note the date because I knew it would be something that would be remembered. 

Tronolone is an educator from Staten Island.

Rashid Johnson taught fourth grade at Bruce-Monroe Elementary School in Washington, D.C. The principal there began evacuating the school after a third plane hit the Pentagon. (A fourth hijacked plane crashed into a Pennsylvania field soon after.)

I was paralyzed, and my students were terrified and asking me if we were going to die. It felt like an alien invasion.

Johnson is a senior director of school support in New York City.

An older woman wearing a blue shirt and glasses smiles for a portrait.

Barbara Gottschalk continued to teach, as school leaders wanted students of Warren Consolidated Schools to find out from their parents.

Courtesy of Barbara Gottschalk

Barbara Gottschalk was a teacher at Flynn Middle School in Michigan’s Warren Consolidated Schools district. As events unfolded that morning, school leaders told teachers to turn off their TVs and keep teaching.

The message was to continue on and not let the students know. At the end of the school day, the principal came on the intercom to announce after-school activities had been canceled. One of my students said, “I wonder why they’re canceling everything.” That’s how protected we’d managed to keep our students. Our principal wanted the students to learn about this from their family members. To this day, I admire how my principal handled this.

Gottschalk is retired and lives in North Carolina.

Gloria Turner, a teacher at Southside Middle School in Florence, South Carolina, remembers the principal coming over the loudspeaker to say that we could not watch the news on TV or the computer.

We turned on the radio instead. I spent the day calming the fears of young teenagers while trying to control my own. All these years later, the unity of our nation is what comes to mind. We had prayer services in the park, and people from all walks of life attended. This is unusual in our town. We held hands and prayed and hugged. American flags were everywhere.

Turner teaches media arts and theatre in Florence, South Carolina.

Three girls sit on a bench with their legs identically crossed, posing for a portrait together.

Alyson Starks (center) watched the news unfold in her fifth grade classroom at Mt. Juliet Elementary School. She is seen here with classmates at their fifth grade graduation.

Courtesy of Alyson Starks

Alyson Starks was in her fifth grade math class at Mt. Juliet Elementary School in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, when the science teacher, Ms. Jeffries, rushed into the room without knocking.

Ms. Jeffries told Mrs. Hahn something behind the piece of paper as if to tell her a secret. Mrs. Hahn rolled in the TV — those big ones, strapped to a rolling cart with the VHS that never worked — and turned on the news. Later that day, I remember getting off the bus and my parents being home. They were never home when my brother and I got home from school. The TV was on, and I’ll remember my mom’s face as she turned to notice us walk in for the rest of my life.

Starks is a senior graphic designer in Nashville.

Crowds swarm over the Manhattan Bridge to leave Manhattan on the morning of the 9/11 attack.

Crowds swarm over the Manhattan Bridge to leave Manhattan the morning of the 9/11 attack.

Andrew Lichtenstein / Corbis via Getty Images

Suzanne Werner was an educator at P.S. 124, which backs up to the Manhattan Bridge. That morning she was asked to cover for a fifth grade teacher whose husband worked at the World Trade Center.

At first, there was a steady stream of sirens, then silence and a steady stream of people covered in ash walking [toward Brooklyn]. By noon most of the children had been picked up, and the teachers were sent home. I stayed with a small group and the principal till 4 or 4:30 p.m., when the last child was collected. By then, the F train was running, and I was able to get back home to Brooklyn. The train was packed and completely silent. 

It was so hard to get back to teaching that fall. There were so many distractions. Chinatown was impacted in so many ways. Businesses closed. There was no phone service for many, many months. The stench of the cloud hung over the neighborhood. The number of boxes of letters and boxes of teddy bears from school kids all over the country was overwhelming.

Werner is retired and lives in New York City.

A woman wearing a black dress and gold earrings smiles for a portrait.

Latasha Fields-Frisco was the dean of students at Bronx School for Law, and her daughter had just started kindergarten before 9/11.

Courtesy of Latasha Fields-Frisco

Latasha Fields-Frisco, who on 9/11 was the dean of students at Bronx School for Law, Government & Justice. Her own daughter had just started kindergarten.

It was a regular morning that ended with a bomb threat to our school. We evacuated and ensured all of our students were safe. I lived in Harlem at the time and was unable to drive home. The bridges were closed off. I walked from the Bronx to 122nd Street in Harlem. It seemed like the longest walk ever. I was happy to reach home safely to see my family and just broke down in tears.

Fields-Frisco is an assistant principal in the Bronx.

Sonia Algarin was a school counselor at Health Opportunities High School in the Bronx when the NYPD ordered an evacuation of the school. The city had shut down mass transit temporarily.

How could we dismiss students who now had to walk home during a crisis situation? When would their parents get home if they had to walk from their jobs? Was it safer to keep them at the school? Our school was across the street from a highway, the Major Deegan. The police said we needed to seek shelter at Hostos Community College three blocks away. We had to walk all 500 students through the busy streets. Some were scared there could be another bombing or another airplane crashing into Yankee Stadium 10 blocks away. 

Algarin is a school counselor in the Bronx.

Smoke billows toward the harbor in Lower Manhattan after the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.

Smoke billows toward the harbor in Lower Manhattan after the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.

Jason Nevader / WireImage via Getty Images

Sunny Asra, a fifth grader at P.S. 220 Edward Mandel School in Queens, thinks about the repercussions of 9/11 for America’s South Asian community.

[On Sept. 13], schools had a two-hour delayed opening. Still having not processed the events, it started to hit us when the kids met each other and our parents hugged one another, and we kind of did the same. In the following weeks, major hate was thrown at the South Asian community due to a lack of knowledge about religion and race. Being that I had a turban, I was even more fearful. Many innocent South Asians were killed, stabbed, and beaten.

Asra is an operations manager for the New York City Department of Education. He lives on Long Island.

A boy smiles and gives a thumbs up toward the camera, standing at a dining room table next to a birthday cake.

Elvis Santana, seen here c. 2000, was at P.S. 66 in the Bronx during the attack, and classmates worried about the safety of their parents.

Courtesy of Elvis Santana

Elvis Santana, a student at P.S. 66 in the Bronx, remembers listening to the radio that morning from under his desk at school. Many of his classmates wondered aloud if their parents were OK and tried to call them.

It was and still is the most devastating storyline of my life. One moment you’re in class learning, and the next, you’re thinking about death, violence, religion, war, and safety all at once. As a Bronx native, by the age of 8, you have already previewed violence and discrimination. The incident of 9/11 broadened that violence and triggered something we weren’t prepared to deal with. To anyone born after 2001, it  was a testament to how America handled hatred and violence. In the end, we failed in achieving our objective, and today we see that in places like Afghanistan.

Santana is an education outreach director in the Bronx.

Dale Chu, a third grade teacher in East Palo Alto, California, heard about the terror attack from a local Spanish-language radio station on his drive to work. He had no idea of the scale of the disaster until he walked into the teachers lounge and saw the images on TV.

For the most part, we decided not to address it with our students at the time because of their age and because the feelings were all so visceral. I also vividly remember my brother in Los Angeles calling me that morning, and me stepping out of my classroom to take it. He told me that America was now at war. 

9/11 is one of those rare life-defining moments. I can’t believe it’s been 20 years. The recent image of the Afghan boy falling from the U.S. Air Force jet over Kabul brought back for me — in stark relief —  this picture of a falling man from the World Trade Center . Most of all, I remember how I felt in the following weeks. The sense of national pride and unity, like when George W. Bush threw out the first pitch at the World Series game in New York City. Given today’s raging culture wars and swirling currents of polarization, we could use a little bit of that now.

Chu is an education consultant in Parker, Colorado.

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Photo Essay: Remembering 9/11 at Duke

Jill McWhirter, who was visiting Duke to watch her daughter’s soccer game, joined the Duke vigil Saturday morning.

Jill McWhirter, who was visiting Duke to watch her daughter’s soccer game, joined the Duke vigil Saturday morning.

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At the very moment that two decades before the first plane crashed into the World Trade Center at the start of the 9/11 attacks, faith leaders from across the campus led a ‘Remember and Hope’ Interfaith Vigil in front of Duke Chapel to honor victims of the attacks and to find a way to use hope to build a better world.  The vigil included moments of prayer, reading and silent reflection. 

Powery concluded the ceremony by calling on the community to use the memory of the attacks to find the humanity to "live together as brothers."

"When we remember the dead, we remember the grief and the loss, but we also remember what is yet to be, we remember our future and try to put our lives back together again. Memory can be difficult and painful, but it is also the space out of which hope rises," Powery said.

He ended the vigil singing a spiritual from the voices of enslaved African peoples.

Rev. Luke Powery speaks at Saturday's 9/11 vigil

The event drew members from the Duke and local communities, as well as some visitors. All came to honor the victims of the attacks, the courage of the first responders, and to reflect on how hope can help about a more peaceful world. “I always go to a 9/11 service wherever I am,” said Jill McWhirter (pictured at top), who was visiting Duke to watch her daughter’s soccer game.

In his remarks, Price quoted poet Maya Angelou on the persistence of trauma that lives on “in our heart, our mind, and our memories.” But he added that Angelou also reminds us that “we are not left with our memories alone—we also have our hearts and our minds.”

“Together,” Price said, “we can turn with our hearts to build a more inclusive, empathic community here at Duke and beyond. We can use our minds to foster a greater understanding of our world and our place in it, and to live lives of service to our neighbors and engagement with our communities.”

After the vigil, participants were invited to visit the Memorial plaque on Keohane Quad that honors the six Duke alumni killed in the 9/11 attacks.

President Price at the 9/11 plaque in Keohane Quad.

Saturday evening, the memorial continued with a Chapel concert featuring the Ciompi Quartet and the Duke Chapel Schola Cantorum singers performing compositions with themes of remembrance, peace and reconciliation, interspersed with readings from various faith traditions. In addition, the Chapel hosted an exhibition of photographs of past campus vigils and protests.

Photos and slideshow by Jared Lazarus/Duke University

20 Years After 9/11 . How Duke has remembered the 9/11 attacks, honored its victims and reflected on how the world has changed.

Those Who Run to Danger. Professor David Schanzer discusses an exhibit in Washingon, D.C., that explores the changes in policing that have taken place over this period in response to the challenges that the 9/11 attacks gave rise to.

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Knowledge from Tragedy: NYU Research Post-9/11

© Hollenshead: Courtesy of NYU Photo Bureau

For many NYU scholars—some of them New Yorkers who witnessed the destruction of the World Trade Center from the vantage point of our Greenwich Village campus, less than two miles north—research has been an essential tool for better understanding the September 11 attacks and their aftermath. Over the past two decades, numerous faculty have studied 9/11’s impact on our physical and mental health; examined how to improve our nation’s security and preparedness; evaluated New York City’s infrastructure and resilience; analyzed the legal and policy consequences of the attacks; and captured painful and inspiring stories through art.

On the occasion of this anniversary, NYU News gathered a small sampling of projects that show how our researchers in diverse fields—whose efforts may carry personal as well as professional significance—rose to the occasion to generate knowledge and contribute to New York City’s recovery.

The psychological impact of the attacks

  • Research by Silver’s Carol Tosone explored how the World Trade Center attacks affected the practice of therapists. After surveying Manhattan clinicians , she described the construct of shared trauma, which involves the dual impact of trauma on clinicians exposed both through their personal experiences and their work with survivors.
  • Steinhardt researchers Beth Weitzman and Tod Mijanovich conducted a nationwide survey of youth and their parents before and after September 11 to examine psychological distress among American youth related to the attacks. They found that young people experienced more emotional distress after 9/11, and that those exposed to physical threats at school were especially vulnerable to the psychological effects of disasters.
  • A special issue of the journal Traumatology , published in 2011, focused on reflections of NYU faculty, students, and administrators who were at the university on September 11. The articles offer insights into what the campus community experienced, as well as professional analyses on the impact of the event.
  • Steinhardt art therapist Marygrace Berberian developed and facilitated a curriculum for post-9/11 recovery for children. The intervention culminated in a large installation of artwork across from Ground Zero , including self-portraits of more than 3,100 children from around the world.

The World Trade Center Children's Mural at 120 Broadway in 2002. Photo courtesy of Marygrace Berberian

Health and dangerous exposures 

  • Research on 9/11 firefighters and EMS workers led by Anna Nolan and her team at the Grossman School of Medicine identified 30 chemical compounds that may help protect these first responders from losing lung function. These so-called metabolites are made when the body breaks down fats, proteins, and carbohydrates, and include protein-building amino acids and mega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fish and olive oil. The findings suggest that drugs, dietary changes, and regular exercise can protect people exposed to toxic chemicals created by fire and smoke.
  • An investigation by Leonardo Trasande and his team at the Grossman School of Medicine found that children living near the World Trade Center who likely breathed in toxic dust have elevated levels of artery-hardening fats in their blood, an early indicator of future heart disease. The study , which analyzed blood tests from over 300 kids, is the first to identify long-term cardiovascular health risks in children from toxic chemical exposure on 9/11, but offers hope that early intervention like diet and exercise can alleviate some of the health risks.
  • Research involving the School of Global Public Health’s Jack Caravanos examined lead and other environmental toxins in New York City following the attacks. One study found only low levels of lead in dust in lower Manhattan, likely due to the extensive cleanup of the area, but also identified several "hot spots" of environmental lead elsewhere, including one in Staten Island that may have been connected to debris from the World Trade Center.
  • A study led by the College of Dentistry’s Karen Raphael evaluated more than 1,300 women in the New York metro area both before and after the attacks to see whether symptoms consistent with fibromyalgia—a disorder marked by widespread pain—increased. She found that rates of fibromyalgia-like pain did not grow significantly after the attacks regardless of direct exposure to events, nor did prior depression predict the onset of this pain, suggesting that exposure to major stressors or prior depression are unlikely to be major factors in the development of fibromyalgia.

© Getty Images

Skyscrapers, infrastructure, and downtown Manhattan’s recovery

  • The World Trade Center Evacuation Study , led by the School of Global Public Health’s Robyn Gershon , examined factors that helped people to quickly and safely exit the towers during the attacks. The study found that evacuees with lower levels of preparedness were more likely to report fear of working in tall buildings, stress, anxiety, and flashbacks compared to evacuees who had more emergency training. The findings helped lead to the first changes in New York City’s high-rise fire safety codes in more than 30 years.
  • The ability to rapidly restore transportation, power, water, and environmental services is critical after a disaster. This became the focus of work by Wagner’s Rae Zimmerman , who evaluated New York City’s infrastructure and user needs before, during, and after September 11. Her research found that the capability of service providers to respond to needs for transportation, energy, communication, water, sanitation, and waste removal after the attacks was influenced by the flexibility of the initial infrastructure design and existing functions to respond to normal system disruptions and to other extreme events.
  • A 2015 report by the Rudin Center found that the rebuilding of the World Trade Center will generate an enormous economic return for the Port Authority and the New York region.  

Preparing for future threats

  • In 2002, NYU established the Center for Catastrophe Preparedness and Response with funding from Congress. The university-wide center, focused on improving the nation’s preparedness and response capabilities to terrorist threats and catastrophic events, coordinated and disseminated research and generated policy recommendations related to homeland security. Resulting research included reports on facial recognition technology , modeling to help hospitals prepare for disasters , and emergency medical services as the “forgotten first responder.”
  • Soon after 9/11, the U.S. was faced with the potential for biological and chemical attacks, an area of focus for several researchers who are now part of the Tandon School of Engineering. Kalle Levon worked on the environmental detection of bioagents using funds from the Department of Defense and DARPA; Vikram Kapila conceived of a wireless sensor network to connect hazard-detecting sensors in New York’s subway stations; and Kurt Becker conducted research on the inactivation of biological and chemical agents, such as anthrax, as well as on sensing and quantifying trace concentrations of explosives . 
  • Since many experts believed the next terrorist attack would be online, 9/11 was the impetus behind the creation of the Offensive Security, Incident Response, and Internet Security (OSIRIS) Lab , part of Tandon’s Center for Cybersecurity and led by Nasir Memon . Memon spearheaded a partnership with NYC Cyber Command , which leads the city’s cyber defense efforts, to run cybersecurity simulations to practice protecting the city’s systems from malicious attacks.

A 2019 cybersecurity training exercise with Tandon and NYC Cyber Command. Photo courtesy of NYU Tandon

Law and policy post-9/11

  • The Reiss Center on Law and Security at the School of Law focuses on contemporary questions in the field of national security, including many that have arisen in the context of the “Forever War” that stemmed from September 11 and the evolution of power and legal authorities in the executive branch. In 2020, the Center published the War Powers Resolution Reporting Project , the first publicly accessible, searchable database analyzing the contents of more than 100 reports submitted by presidents to Congress, providing insights into the balance of powers between the branches with respect to how U.S. armed forces are used abroad.
  • From 2005-2011, the then-Center on Law and Security also created a Terrorist Trial Report Card , a database that tracked the cases against alleged terrorists since 9/11, detailing the charges, convictions, plea bargains, and sentencing for federal terrorism prosecutions. In addition to the data collected in each of the 11 iterations of the report, the Terrorist Trial Report Card included analyses of the effectiveness of the "War on Terror" and the evolution in the Department of Justice's prosecution of these crimes. 
  • The NYU Review of Law and Security , founded by the Center on Law and Security, published articles, updates on the Terrorist Trial Report Card, and transcript excerpts from major dialogues convened by the Center. Each issue centered on a timely topic in national security and counterterrorism, ranging from Al-Qaeda to the legal questions surrounding Guantanamo and the challenges of prosecuting terrorism.
  • In The Matador's Cape: America's Reckless Response to Terror (Cambridge University Press, 2009), law professor and Reiss Center faculty co-director Stephen Holmes explored the causes of the “catastrophic turn” in American policy at home and abroad since 9/11. Holmes detailed Washington’s inability to bring “the enemy” into focus since 9/11, describing the ideological, bureaucratic, electoral, and emotional forces that distorted the American understanding of, and response to, the terrorist threat.
  • Politics Professor Bernard Manin examined the history of emergency powers going all the way back to Rome—and argued that constitutional democracies should not use these measures to deal with terrorism. In an essay , he suggested that emergency powers only work well when implemented as temporary measures to deal with temporary threats, but with terrorism as a long-term problem, a different response was called for.

American culture after the attacks

  • NYU Abu Dhabi sociologist John O’Brien spent over three years conducting ethnographic fieldwork with a group of young Muslim teenagers coming of age in post-9/11 America. His book, Keeping It Halal: The Everyday Lives of Muslim American Teenage Boys (Princeton University Press, 2017), illustrated how the teens faced anti-Muslim discrimination, but much of their lives centered around “normal” teenage problems, like music and dating.
  • In a new book, Terrorism in American Memory: Memorials, Museums, and Architecture in the Post-9/11 Era (NYU Press, 2022), Steinhardt’s Marika Sturken writes that the terrorist attacks were the primary force shaping U.S. politics and culture in the post-9/11 era. Her earlier book, Tourists of History (Duke University Press, 2007), argued that Americans have responded to the national trauma of September 11 through consumerism and kitsch, and explored the contentious debates about memorials and celebrity-architect designed buildings at Ground Zero.
  • In " On The Actuarial Gaze: From 9/11 to Abu Ghraib ," Steinhardt's Allen Feldman considers the larger impact of circulated images. His analysis of pictures and video stemming from 9/11 illuminates the visual structure of catastrophes.
  • In Tolerance and Risk: How U.S. Liberalism Racializes Muslims (University of Minnesota Press, 2021), Liberal Studies' Mitra Rastegar examines representations of Muslims in the media and writes that sympathetic representations cast Muslims as as a population with distinct characteristics, capacities, and risks.

Images courtesy of NYU Press

Catalyzing creative expression

  • In 110 Stories: New York Writes after September 11 (NYU Press, 2002), Ulrich Baer gathered a range of voices that convey the shock and loss suffered in September 2001. The lineup of 110 renowned and emerging writers captured the shape and texture of a city in crisis, and what its inhabitants absorbed in the aftermath of a few unforgettable hours.
  • Distinguished Writer-in-Residence Jonathan Safran Foer penned the novel Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (Houghton Mifflin, 2005), which centers on a nine-year-old boy whose father died in 1 World Trade Center. The book—which was later made into a film—was among several that formed a new genre of writing shaped by the attacks.
  • Covering Catastrophe: Broadcast Journalists Report September 11 (Bonus Books, 2002), co-edited by journalism professor Mitchell Stephens , is an oral history of the events of that day in the words of more than 130 television and radio journalists, ranging from network anchors to local reporters from Johnstown, Pennsylvania.  
  • The 9/11 attacks inspired the composition of many artistic works, including a poem by Creative Writing’s Deborah Landau entitled “ Manhattan Fragments 2001-2002 ” and a musical composition by Steinhardt’s Faye-Ellen Silverman named “ Reconstructed Music ” (2002), which she began writing three days after the attacks.

This research was supported by funding from Congress, the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, among others.

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College writing about 9/11: "sometimes a mistake becomes an opportunity. explain.".

Ruth Starkman

Stanford University

"Welcome to class, please take out a piece of paper and put your name on it. Please answer the following question on the board:"

Sometimes a mistake becomes an opportunity. Explain.

For over a decade I have used this vague, but surprisingly evocative one-time SAT II prompt to start some of my college courses in ethics and writing. My intent is certainly not to frighten my students on the first day of class, but rather to promote a lively opening discussion that also allows me initial insight into students' ideas and writing abilities.

Originally this question was the mainstay of college writing placement exams at a university where I taught, and I served as one of the faculty members, who evaluated student responses.

Before 9/11 the responses to this question on writing placement exams generally fell into three categories.

1)The discovery of North America was a mistake that became an opportunity . 2)I mistakenly applied to this university intending another, but it became an opportunity . 3)Other.

The "other" category ranged widely from comical tales of mistakes in games of " Texas hold 'em " to bracing narratives about tragedy, suffering, and ultimate survival. Despite such great variety, essays in this "other" category generally displayed a common use of the pathos appeal , that is, emotionally moving rhetoric. Many student narratives brought the readers to tears.

After the September 11, 2001 attacks, the content of the essays dramatically changed. In the immediate aftermath, Wednesday September 12 and Thursday September 13, 2001 also happened to be writing placement days that year, and students wrote almost exclusively about 9/11.

Faced with a mountain of essays on the twin towers two days after the mighty World Trade Center crumbled in smoke and flames, my colleagues and I struggled to understand how one could possibly think of "mistakes" and "opportunities" when trying to grasp the horrific event that had just occurred. Surely, in this moment of national emergency, the essay prompt itself was irrelevant. The students simply felt compelled to write about the unfolding tragedy before their eyes.

But every year since 9/11, the events of that date have become a separate category to the prompt "Sometimes a mistake becomes an opportunity. Explain." In 2002 and 2003 roughly half the essays addressed the topic. The topic declined somewhat in subsequent years but continued enough to occupy its own category.

Then a few years ago, my university revised its writing placement process, and I no longer marked such essays in groups with my colleagues. But fascinated with the responses, I continued to use the prompt as an in-class writing for the first day of class in some of my courses. The frequency of 9/11 persisted, but failed to dominate until this year when about half of my students chose the topic, perhaps as they anticipated the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

Remarkably, in 2011 as in 2001, the responses generally fell into three categories:

1)The terrorist mistake of bombing on 9/11 became an opportunity for the United States to demonstrate it is the strongest nation on earth. 2)9/11 offered America the opportunity to learn from its mistaken efforts to dominate the globe. 3)Other.

Surely 1) and 2) offer diametrically opposed positions depending on how students view the United States' role as a world power, and the same discussions continue today with varying opinions on whether or not America "deserved" the attacks and the extent to which students believe America should fight terrorism .

The "other" category also continues to display remarkable consistency, especially in how 9/11 has changed the view of young people, who were 8 or 9 at the time of the attacks. Whatever position these essays take on 9/11, each bemoans the "loss of security" in America. Some essays recall how simply driving over the George Washington Bridge in New York City or the Golden Gate in California struck terror into their hearts for many years, but that this "unmistakable fear" also brought "opportunities" to learn and change.

Much sadness has followed 9/11. Many students, both American and international, have lost family members in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq , and many of the older freshman and transfer students are veterans of the wars themselves. For them 9/11 was a "mistake" not simply because they have to use this word given by the prompt and explain how it became an "opportunity," but because these essays, regardless of their political positions, consistently view terrorism as a mistaken form of protest.

In the multiple ways students see 9/11 as a "mistake," they ultimately see the opportunity to learn about the world, as new and frightening as it may seem to them. Many students who have no background at all in Muslim culture say they have enrolled in Arabic and Farsi classes. Others are signed up in courses on religion, politics and world literatures that address questions of terror and political conflict. All these are no doubt opportunities to make the world a better, safer place.

Ultimately, the classroom remains politically divided on the aftermath of 9/11, but one thing remains clear: the need for further cultural understanding. No doubt students assert some of their greatest opportunities arise from study of new languages and cultures. Now is the time for such an opportunity.

Ruth Starkman - Stanford University

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college essay about 9/11

college essay about 9/11

Essay: Trying To Remember 9/11

college essay about 9/11

Today marks 19 years since the 9/11 terrorist attacks killed almost three thousand people and injured many more at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and in Somerset County, Pennsylvania.

Most of us look back on that day and remember where we were and what we were doing before news of these events would change the course of history.

Lake Effect contributor Bruce Campbell shares his experience of being in the operating room the morning of 9/11 and what has happened in the years that followed:

My colleague burst through the door of the operating room and rushed in.

“A plane! A plane just crashed into the World Trade Center.”   I looked up from where I was standing next to the operating table. My resident and I were concentrating as we worked through the operation to remove the malignant mass from a patient’s neck. The surgery had just started but the scars from another surgeon’s biopsy made the initial steps of the dissection tricky.   “What?”   “A plane. I was in the OR lounge and the news switched to New York. A plane just crashed into the World Trade Center.”   I stared at him. I re-checked the surgical field and put pressure on the wound.   “So, what are they saying? What’s going on?”   “They don’t know. My God. It’s awful.”   He left and we went back to work. The resident and I teased out the anatomy, peeling the skin from the underlying muscles, finding the jugular vein and preserving the nerves to the tongue and the shoulder. We dissected the lymph nodes away from the surrounding tissues deep in the wound.   The door opened. “Another plane. This one crashed into the other tower.”   “What?”   “They’re replaying the videos over-and-over. The first tower is on fire. Then there’s the other plane.”   He ran out again.   We lifted out some of the nodes, clearing them from the carotid artery. By placing my fingers lightly on the carotid, I could feel the patient’s blood flowing from his heart to his brain.   The door opened. “Bush was just on TV. He says it’s terrorists.”   I closed my eyes. “Please stop. Please don’t come in with any more news reports.”   He paused. “Okay, sure.” Then he left.   We wrapped up the surgery, tying off a few small blood vessels and closing the wound. It was deadly quiet. None of us in the room had any idea what was going on, but we sensed it was bad. I lingered as the patient woke up. We wheeled him to the recovery room.    Someone stopped me in the hallway. “The first tower collapsed.”   I went to the lounge to watch with the others, then walked down to the family center to talk to my patient’s wife. She was watching the news along with everyone else. We stepped into a private consultation room so I could review her husband’s surgery. We returned to the waiting area where I stared at the television with her for a few minutes. The scenes of smoke billowing from the towers and the slow-motion impact of the second plane were playing over-and-over.    Everyone in the hospital looked dazed. News reports flashed about a plane crashing into the Pentagon. Another plane had reportedly crashed in Pennsylvania. 

I wondered: Were any of my New York friends killed? Would New York and Washington, DC hospitals be overwhelmed? Many of my partners were at a meeting in Denver. Were they okay? The airports are closed. How will they get home? Were more attacks imminent? Were we all in danger?   I walked back to the recovery room where my patient was waking up. I told him that the surgery had gone well. He smiled and dozed off. He had gone to sleep in one world and awakened in another.    Despite humankind’s overwhelming capacity for kindness and compassion, we also seem bent on senseless, self-inflicted tragedy. The  numbers  of people killed during wars and atrocities are incomprehensible. 450,000 died in the American Civil War. Approximately 85,000,000 died over the course of WWII, including the single-day death tolls of 1,177 at Pearl Harbor, 145,000 in Dresden, and 60,000 at Hiroshima. Millions have died in wars about which we never studied in school. The death tolls from slavery, racism, and brutality cannot be measured.    Survivors beg us to remember the stories, but their voices soon fade. Nineteenth Century Americans were  exhorted  to, “Remember the Alamo!” and  reminded  to “Remember the Maine!” as the country waged wars with Mexico and Spain. The survivors of those cataclysmic events - and many others - are long gone. Their appeals fail to stir us. After each moment of outrage, our collective and personal sense of innocence and the illusion of normalcy returns. Our hands return to our daily tasks. We turn away and forget. 

Still, I was shaken hard that morning. I will never understand why 3000 people were killed that day in New York, at the Pentagon, and in a farm field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. I mourn the hundreds of first responders and clean-up workers who were sickened or died. I despair at the subsequent thousands of dead civilians and soldiers and the millions of refugees. The gnawing emptiness in my gut during the weeks that followed mirrored the emptiness of the skies devoid of planes. Yet, the aftershocks faded. Soon, even when I tried, I could no longer evoke the depths of despair that were once so real.    

For several years, the patient on whom I operated the morning the towers fell continued to come for follow-up visits. I was happy to see him. I would examine his neck and make certain his cancer had been controlled. We always spent part of the appointment reliving our shared, indelible experience. 

“Do you remember?” we would ask each other.     “Yes, I do,” we would respond.   Eventually, though, there was no need for him to return. No more annual visits. “Let me know if things change,” I said.    He shook my hand. “I won’t forget that day,” he said.   “Me, either,” I replied. Yet, I know now, I had already begun the process of forgetting. 

The fading passion, I am certain, protects us from being locked into permanent states of grief and anger. 9/11 – as well as all the shocking events that have rocked our recent national history – arouse outrage and grief. They evoke powerful emotions and calls to action. New leaders rise and inspire us to be part of the change. The events and names remain alive if we amplify the stories. We pledge to stay engaged.   Although nineteen years have passed, 9/11 remains one of my communal “Where were you?” moments. Most of our current medical students were in grade school the day that the attacks occurred. The act of telling this story again is my way of keeping a memory of that day – and the passions it engendered in me – alive. 

Lake Effect essayist Bruce Campbell is a head and neck surgeon at Froedtert Hospital and the Medical College of Wisconsin and a member of WUWM’s advisory board. You can find more of his essays on his blog at BruceCampbellMD.com.

college essay about 9/11

98 9/11 Essay Topic Ideas & Examples

🏆 best 9/11 topic ideas & essay examples, 👍 good essay topics on 9/11, 📌 simple & easy 9/11 essay titles, ❓ research questions about 9/11, 💯 free 9/11 essay topic generator.

  • September 11: Terror Attack and Huge Casualties As the police and the emergency staff trying to help those at the World Trade Center, the South tower, collapsed and tumbled down killing hundreds of the police and emergency personnel.
  • September 11th 2001 Analysis That is from the rapid and complex growth of the Islam fundamentalism to the rise of the al-Qaeda and finally the failures of the intelligence services.
  • Tourism, Travel and 9/11 Despite the fact that the U.S.economy was slowing in the months prior to this incident, the consequences of the terrorist act tipped the economy further into depression.
  • Consequence Management After the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks On November 25, 2002, the United States Department of Homeland Security was formed with the aim of guarding the territory of the United States from terrorist attacks and take appropriate action in case there is […]
  • Law Enforcement after 9/11 The response of the US government in the wake of September 11 was important and has proved to be effective in averting terror acts.
  • Benefits of Post 9/11 Security Measures Fails to Outway Harm on Personal Freedom and Privacy War on terror and the countermeasures on terror threats such as security appraisals have pushed citizens to a point of critically analyzing the benefits and outweighing them against the compromised privacy and personal freedom.
  • Domestic Terrorism in the Post 9/11 Era However, according to the FBI news, no act of terrorism can be compared to the terrorism attacks of 9/11, which cost thousands of lives and a negative impact on the United States economy.
  • U.S. Border Security: 9/11 Aftermath In the immediate consequence of the 9/11 attacks, the US congress ruled to add the security agents deployed along the US-Canada border, and the US sent its National Guard troops to inspect, secure and patrol […]
  • What Attitudes, Beliefs, and Assumptions Correlate with Individual Support for Hate Crimes Directed at the Muslim Community Post September 11, 2001? Ample evidence shows that the increase in cases of hate crimes against Muslims has been due to negative stereotypes of Muslims in the media, especially among the communities of Muslims in the Middle East)..
  • Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright: The Failure to Prevent 9/11 Lawrence Wright’s book The Looming Tower Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 is aimed at examining at the origins of Al-Qaeda, the development of this terrorist organization, and the main events that preceded the September […]
  • Changes in Crisis Work Since 9/11 The attacks changed the style of appointment and training, and today they is excellent support of local emergency teams on roles that expounds on emergency management locally and at state levels.
  • Effects of the September 11th attack on the geopolitics of the US The budge in geopolitical relations that is mounting as the U.S.acts in response to the attacks on its people is already pressurizing oil trades and supplies relationships and also changing ways can be anticipated in […]
  • Pentagon 9/11, Actions and Durations The following are the objectives of my study: To find out the major loopholes that was exploited by the terrorists in the attack To find out the measures that can be put in place to […]
  • Facts about September 11 Attacks One of the most spread theories was that the jet provided the terrorists with the necessary observational data in order to carry out the attacks properly.
  • The Impact of 9/11 on Global Logistics Following the adverse effects of the September eleventh terrorist attack in the US, the security of citizens and businesses has become the main concern in both the public and the private sectors of the economy.
  • U.S. Government Response to the 9/11 Attacks There was a powerful set of shared assumptions we had in the wake of 9/11, and one of the most powerful was the assumption that we would never be forgiven if we failed to do […]
  • The History of the 9/11 Decade The U.S.economy, the military needs and strategies of the country, the oil crisis and the U.S.relations with other countries, China and the countries of the Middle East in particular, are the main themes which need […]
  • The Advancements of Airport Security since September 11, 2001 The 19 hijackers who terrorized the US in the twin attacks were able to go through the normal security checks and even shut the alarms of the metal detectors.
  • Post September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks Despite the fact that there were several Muslims in America who were victims of the attacks, Muslims in America are still being discriminated as a result of that incidence.
  • “9/11 and New York City Firefighters” Post Hoc Unit Support and Control Climates The independent variables of intensity of critical incident involvement were based on a measurement scale of 0 or 1 for affirmative to the 15 modes of involvement while for the four involving self injury a […]
  • Terrorism Before and After the September 11 Attacks In light of the change in our perception of terrorisms as a result of the events of September 11 and the raising impact of religious fanatics who are quoted many a times declaring death and […]
  • Lessons Learned From 9/11 It was suspected to have taken the form of Al-Qaeda terrorist attacks in the sense that the Al-Qaeda group had not always been in good terms with the Americans.
  • “The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11” by Lawrence Wright The second part of the book looks at the Al Qaeda’s activities in the rest of the world. The book covers some of the problems faced in the fight against terrorism, especially the lack of […]
  • The Biggest News; The 9/11 Attack Exposing the Plight The American media placed more emphasis on the emergency response and the plight of the people who were exposed to the tragedy; this was aimed at exposing to the world that America […]
  • The controversy behind the 9/11 tragedy In fact, sources reveal that most people believe the contrary that is the allegation that the US government initiated the attacks as a strategy of gaining control of oil in the Middle East.
  • American Foreign Policy after 9/11 The government is likely to incite members of the public to support its policies by claiming that the country’s values and ideas are in danger. President Wilson noticed that the world was in need of […]
  • The Concept of the Homeland Security After the September 11 Incident The experts repeatedly identified the lack of cooperation and poor coordination as the eminent concern amongst the several bodies linked to the Homeland Security.
  • Terrorism: Post-9/11 Maritime Security Initiatives in the USA The degree of fatality and devastation prompted the industry players and the state to look for new strategies of moderating the inherent risks in the whole maritime transport system.
  • Pearl Harbor and 9/11: Intelligence Failure Based on the findings of the bodies and the ongoing discussion among Americans concerning the similarities, the ensuing discourse compares the events of 7 December and 11 September.
  • The 9/11 Attacks and Its Consequences on the Health The mounting menace of global terrorism has facilitated the need for scholars to research on the impacts of such traumatic incidences on the health of the victims.
  • Global Universities’ Reforms After the 9/11 Attack The members of the team use the above competencies to support different students whenever there is an attack. An agreement is also “established in order to outline the commitment and participation of different response organizations”.
  • The 9/11 Tragedy: One of the Deadliest Disasters in the US History For instance, the government presented the right equipment and evacuation strategies to respond to the tragic event. The leaders and human service professionals provided the right resources, materials, and counseling in order to deal with […]
  • Risk Management in Organizations After 9/11 If a company is able to have a recent backup of all the information critical to its operation, it should be able to minimize losses and recovery time.
  • 9/11 in “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” by Foer However, this approach is central to this novel because it is aimed at translating a potentially excessive amount of feeling, which may be too difficult to embody in the text.
  • “Feminist Geopolitics and September 11” by Jenifer Hyndman Feminist Geopolitics and September 11 is the article that presents the evaluation of the events on September 11 from the perspective inherent mostly to women; it is not about male criticism and their evident mistakes; […]
  • Dudley’s Subjectivity in “9/11 Attacks on America” Article According to Dudley, both of these attacks led to the loss of the lives of many Americans. This is due to the nature of subjectivity that the writer has developed in his theme of discussion.
  • Bill Clinton’s Impeachment from Post-9/11 Perspective Impeachment is the act of removing a public official from a public office due to misconduct in the office. His actions in the Watergate scandal clearly depicted the kind of person he was, something that […]
  • September 11 Attacks as a Political Impression As a matter of fact, the aftermath of these attacks led to various political motivations that enabled me to know more about the political side of terrorism.
  • Homeland Security Regarding the 9/11 Report The intelligent agencies struggled throughout the years prior to 9/11 on the collection of intelligence data and the analysis of the transformations of transnational terrorist activities.
  • Richard Drew’s Photography: Visualizing September 11 This would have ensured that I had accommodated the rights of media, clients, society, and other stakeholders while still adhering to media ethics.
  • US History Since 1877: “9/11 – Loose Change” The main argument of the documentary 9/11 – Loose Change is that the US secret services stood behind the perpetration of the worst terrorist act in the history of America the attacks of 9/11.
  • September 11 Attacks in the US News Media The nature of US news media coverage of the political responsibility for the September 11, 2001 terror attack is the point of concern that is highlighted in both articles.
  • David Foster Wallace on 9/11, as Seen from the Midwest It is important to mention that the revised version of the work had a few changes to protect the privacy of the involved.”The View from Mrs.
  • Terrorism and Security Dilemma After 9/11 This is especially a terror threat and the twentieth-century struggles, such as the’ Cold War.’ The authors note that in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, the global perception of terrorism has been enhanced.
  • Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Improvements Act of 2010 The Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Improvements Act of 2010 is one of the primary laws governing the provision of financial assistance to veterans of the US armed forces to pursue higher educational and vocational training.
  • Post-9/11 Era and the Attitudes Toward Muslim Americans According to Flanagin’s account of the relationships between Muslim Americans and the rest of the U.S.population, the victimization of Muslim Americans is comparable to that one of German Americans after WWI, although it may not […]
  • Terrorism: 9/11 Conspiracy Theories While on the one hand, it signified the failure of a number of government agencies, lack of a coordinated approach amongst the world community in dealing with the menace of terrorism, but it showed to […]
  • The Tragic Effects of 9/11 The attacks on the world trade center and pentagon on September 11 2001 were tragic and devastating not only for the victims and the people of the United States of America; they came as a […]
  • Conspiracy Theories of 9/11 Another layer of theories states that the events of September 2001 were initiated by the US military and the government which tried to gain the confidence of the American people and inspires racial envy and […]
  • Effects of the September 11, 2001 Terror Attacks on Sino-American Relations Thesis: In the aftermath of the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, China and the USA have come together on a common platform to combat terrorism reshaping Sino-American relations and redefining Asia Pacific security concerns.
  • Israel-Palestine after 9/11: Relations and Policies Of concern is that the discussion comes out with facts that Israel has developed policies that favor them with the backing of the US.
  • The Psychological Effect of 9/11 on Young Adults Many a people are being wrongly suspected of being terrorists, this has been one of the biggest changes in the psychology of the adults which has taken place since the 9/11 incident.”The majority of participants […]
  • Islamophobia: Bias to Muslims and War After the 9-11 Incident In view of the 9/11 incident it became a scope of the authorities and the media to defend the position of government in the context of security as it was formulated that a constant threat […]
  • Rebuttal Assignment: The Untold Facts and Stories of 9-11 The investigations that were published by the National Institute of standards and Technology dismissed these allegations and the community engineers supported the move by stating that the building was brought down by the impact of […]
  • The Looming Tower: Al Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 by Lawrence Wright The book of Lawrence Wright impressed the readers with an innovative, unusual approach to the narration of the story that occupied the minds of all people around the world for several years, being the only […]
  • Comparing World War II to September 11th Both attacks were condemned on a global scale, and a huge fraction of the rest of the world rallied behind the US. Over 16 million soldiers were deployed to settle the score with the Japanese, […]
  • Rudy Giuliani’s Leadership During 9/11 Crisis He was able to recognize the urgency of addressing the crisis to salvage the city. Giuliani was able to raise the bar in order to confront new Yorkers to respond to the crisis.
  • “13 Days”, “The Hunt for Red October”, and “Fahrenheit 9-11”: Analysis The political team with President Kennedy in the forefront composes a plan to solve the problem without violent involvement since the U.S.military attacks could cause military strikes on the part of the Soviet Union despite […]
  • The Key 9-11 Conspiracy Theory The adherents of the 9/11 Truth movement believe in a conspiracy theory that the building of the World Trade Center began blowing up even before the impact of the airplane, which points to the possibility […]
  • The Cold War and the Events of September 11 The anxieties arising from the issue of European immigrants echo the sentiments of securitization and Islamophobia following the events of September 11.
  • Securing Airports in the Aftermath of 9-11 This will enable the Federal government to link and associate different information and this system can easily find the connection between suspected terrorists and suspicious activities. This type of technology must be installed in every […]
  • 9/11 Unmasked: Investigation of Attacks Graeme MacQueen, who presents concrete evidence on the anthrax deception by the administration have attributed the administration as a conspiracy that has lied to its citizens.
  • 9/11 Reminder That History Is Always Incomplete Thus, history cannot be regarded in one common way as all events are interpreted by people individually on the basis of their knowledge, experience, and personal characteristics.
  • Post-9,11 Veterans in Business The objective of the study is to explore how the adoption of a military mindset might influence the company culture and identify the competitive advantages of the post-9/11 veterans in the business setting.
  • Economic and Political Impacts of the 9-11 on the American Society The economic impacts of the 9/11 terrorist attack were immediately experienced in all spheres of the nation’s development. However, as the nation grappled with drastic changes after the event, Arab Americans were negatively affected as […]
  • 9/11: Impact on the American Society Also known as the ‘9/11,’ the long-brewing attack on the Twin Towers forced many Americans to reconsider their perception of the safety that the government can provide.
  • September 11, 2001 Attacks: What We Have Learned About Terrorism Since 9,11 The world has remembered one of the most tragic attacks in the USA in 2001, and the consequences of this event stay one of the most discussed.
  • Global Impact of 9-11 Events on Terrorism Prevention Many people resorted to religion and faith, and the majority reported that they were praying more frequently. Moreover, it stimulated the intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan to fight terrorist groups.
  • Why Is 9/11 an Important Day to Remember?
  • How Did Travel and Airport Security Change After 9/11?
  • What Effect Did 9/11 Have on the Economy?
  • How Did the World React to 9/11?
  • What Are the Conspiracy Theories Around 9/11?
  • How to Control Irrational Fears After 9/11?
  • How Many Died on September 11th?
  • What Was the Intention Behind the 9/11 Attacks?
  • What Reorganization of the Government Took Place After 9/11?
  • Who Survived 9/11 From the Highest Floor?
  • What Islamic Reform Took Place After 9/11?
  • How Many Firefighters Died on 9/11?
  • How Many People Lost Their Jobs on 9/11?
  • Who Was the Last Person Found on 9/11?
  • Have There Been Any Personal Changes With You Since 9/11?
  • What Is the Impact of President Bush´s Speech After 9/11?
  • How Much Money Did 9/11 Survivors Receive?
  • Are There Still People Missing From 9/11?
  • How Did the Criminal Justice System Change After 9/11?
  • How the Day of 9/11 Changed America Forever?
  • What Are the Political, Social, and Economic Changes Following 9/11?
  • What Are the Consequences of the Tragedy of 9/11?
  • Was the U.S. Government Involved With 9/11?
  • Why Was America Targeted on 9/11?
  • Why Discrimination Against Arab-Americans Happened After 9/11?
  • What Is the Essence of the 4th Amendment After 9/11?
  • What Was the Reason Given for 9/11?
  • Who Was in Charge of 9/11?
  • How Long Did It Take To Find Out Who Was Responsible for 9/11?
  • What Did the 9/11 Commission Find?
  • Chicago (N-B)
  • Chicago (A-D)

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college essay about 9/11

My Davidson | A Student Blog Student-to-Student: Advice from Davidson College Students on the College Essay

student wearing a Davidson sweatshirt and headphones works on a laptop in a modern academic building

Current Davidson College students share their tips and tricks for navigating and writing the college essay.

About the Authors

This piece was written by Senior Fellows in Davidson College's Office of Admission & Financial Aid; Zaynab Abuhakema ’24, Nathanael Bagonza ’24, Chloe Boissy Stauffer ’24, Kelsey Chase ’24, Amanda Fuenzalida ’24, Olivia Howard ’24 (she/her), Ann Nishida ’24, Lilly Sirover ’24, Samuel Waithira ’24 and Ruby Zhou ’24. 

Learn more about them below.

Zayna Abuhakema

Zaynab Abuhakema ’24 (she/her) is a physics major and theatre minor from Summerville, South Carolina.

“Just be honest! We want to know more about YOU and why you can see yourself at Davidson. Tell us about your passions in the way that makes the most sense to you. Have someone read over it if you want, but don’t worry too much about the technical part. Just show us who you are the best way you can on a page.”

Nate Bagonza

Nathanael Bagonza ’24 (he/him) is an English major from Haverhill, Massachusetts.

“Don’t worry about if your writing is ‘great’ or not; rather, be intentional in ensuring that your essays demonstrate who you are and what you are passionate about! I ended up becoming an English major writing a collection of essays for my senior honors thesis, but what made my application essays work from day one was telling stories that really spoke to my true, authentic self.”

Chloe Boissy-Stauffer

Chloe Boissy Stauffer ’24 (she/her) is an environmental studies and political science double major from Lake Atitlan, Guatemala.

“A couple pages of writing will never capture your whole story- admissions counselors understand this. In order to communicate an accurate snapshot of who you are, try thinking of one hobby, one accomplishment, or one interaction that you think best reflects your overall skill set and worldview. By using one or two examples to ‘anchor’ your story, you can frame your personality, backstory and values. Whatever you write, make sure it’s authentic to who you are because that’s who we want to get to know.”

Kelsey Chase

Kelsey Chase ’24 (she/her) is a political science major from Concord, New Hampshire.

“I read a lot of Common App essays during my college process, not because I wanted to study them or compare them to my own, but because I genuinely thought they were fascinating to read. This helped me realize that it’s helpful to think about writing the essays for a peer rather than an admissions officer. Don’t worry about what you think the admissions officers want to hear; rather, write an essay that you think would help potential friends understand you at your core. I would also advise against your parents or adults taking too much editorial control over your essay — you want your essay to sound like you, which is someone who’s 17 or 18 years old, not a professional. It can definitely be helpful to have someone read over it just to catch grammar mistakes or awkward phrasing, but what matters most is that you feel like it really conveys something important about who you are.”

Amanda Fuenzalida

Amanda Fuenzalida ’24 (she/her) is a biology major from Naples, Florida and Santiago, Chile.

“When I think about the personal essay, I always think about growth, because that is what life is, a continuous growing process. And at 17–18 years, you do not have to have everything figured out or have decided what you want to for the rest of your life. But what you can do well is reflect on the experiences that have made you the person you are at this very moment. And thinking about this personal statement, I would think maybe what are key major parts of my life that have shaped me to be who I am, that make you proud of yourself. Reading back your essay, you should feel that sense of pride, that this essay reflects the person you (not anyone else) are proud you have become.”

Olivia Howard

Olivia Howard ’24 (she/her) is a biology and German Studies double major from Dacula, Georgia.

“I do not consider writing to be my strong suit, and I remember the dread and fear I had when I was writing my college essays. Essays are intimidating, and you might feel lost trying to fit your story into the limits that are set. My advice to you is to be patient with yourself and allow who you are to come through on the page. Do not over stress about having the most complex grammar and sentence structure, but rather focus on writing what matters to you. It is okay to not be an award-winning writer who uses metaphors and various literary devices. A lot of times it is better to tell your story in a simple way rather than using flowery language and fluff that does not get your point across.”

Ann Nishida

Ann Nishida ’24 (she/her) is a biology major and music minor from Ridgewood, New Jersey.

“The focus is on you . The essay portion is a chance for the admission counselors to see a side of you that a transcript or test score won’t fully represent. A good starting point in discovering your unique qualities may be to ask yourself Why ? Why am I passionate about certain activities, why do I interact with my environment in a certain way, why do I want to go to Davidson, etc. Good luck!”

Lilly Sirover

Lilly Sirover ’24 (she/her) is a biology major and public health minor on the premedicine track from Haddonfield, New Jersey.

“As someone who prefers speaking over writing, I highly recommend using a voice recording app to talk through your essay ideas as you begin the writing process. Talking through your unique strengths, challenges you have navigated, a personal experience that changed your perspective, a topic that you are endlessly curious about, or something else personal to you allows your story to develop naturally.”

Sam Waithira

Samuel Waithira ’24 (he/him) is an economics major and applied mathematics minor from Nairobi, Kenya.

“Be genuine with every aspect of your application. Do not try to mold your application into what you believe the college wants. When you present your true self, you build trust with the admissions team, showing that you have confidence in who you are. Remember that each applicant is unique, and colleges are often looking for a diverse student body. By being genuine, you can showcase your individuality and the qualities that set you apart from other applicants.”

Ruby Zhou

Ruby Zhou ’24 (she/her) is an English major on the predental track from Houston, Texas.

“Start writing. I have a tendency to procrastinate whenever I have a daunting task looming over me, and I just need to start writing or I’ll never get it done. The writing might sound horrible and you might feel embarrassed, but if you think about it, the earlier you start, the more time you have to change “bad” writing to something beautiful.”

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Guest Essay

American Muslims Are in a Painful, Familiar Place

An image of a bomb blast in Gaza with partial photos of President Biden and President George W. Bush over it.

By Rozina Ali

Ms. Ali is a journalist who covers war, Islamophobia and the Middle East.

When President Biden landed in Tel Aviv days after Hamas’s Oct. 7 massacre of more than 1,400 people, he told an audience of Israelis that this was not just Israel’s Sept. 11, that “ it was like 15 9/11s .”

The comparison, which emerged widely and immediately, seemed apt on the surface: a brutal attack that shocked a nation and changed the course of its history. Indeed, it’s been dizzying to witness the speed at which the same patterns we saw after Sept. 11, 2001, are playing out. The mourning of a terrorist attack has been interrupted by the swift bombardment of civilian neighborhoods. American officials, pundits and companies have quickly rallied around Israel in its war on Gaza, which has rapidly intensified by the day. In the first week of the war, Israel dropped more bombs on Gaza than the United States did on Afghanistan in a year. Civilian casualties in Gaza have climbed exponentially. And in the West Bank , recent images of Palestinians being tied, blindfolded, stripped and allegedly subjected to attempted sexual assault by Israeli soldiers and settlers recall Abu Ghraib.

In the United States, it’s as if the country has turned back the clock two decades, but not in the way that Mr. Biden suggests. For those who experienced waves of harassment and government surveillance in the years after Sept. 11, the president’s pledge of “ unwavering ” support for Israel set off alarm bells. I’ve been speaking with lawyers, community groups and advocacy organizations that worked closely with Muslims after September 2001 about what they’re seeing. Not since that time — not even after the election of Donald Trump, who signed an executive order banning visitors from seven Muslim-majority countries within days of taking office — have I heard so many Muslim and Arab community members say they feel isolated. After living through and reckoning with the devastating aftermath of the war on terrorism, it seems the lessons of Sept. 11 have been forgotten.

There seems to be a sense of both resignation — we’ve been here before — and shock — but we’ve been here before .

In the wake of Sept. 11, the U.S. government activated the full force of the national security and law enforcement apparatus to prevent another terrorist attack on American soil. And it bore down on one particular group: Muslims in America. Mass arrests and a national registry of immigrant Muslims led to the deportation of thousands. F.B.I. and police informants, sent to monitor mosques and Muslim neighborhoods, were later found to have been overzealous and accused of entrapping people who committed no violent crimes. The government’s focus on potentially dangerous Muslims spread to American media and society. According to F.B.I. data, hate crimes against Muslims spiked in 2001 . Though that pattern slowed in later years — assaults skyrocketed again in 2015 and 2016 — rates have never dipped back to their pre-2001 numbers.

Today, many Muslims in the United States fear a new outbreak of violence. Days after the attacks in Israel, the Biden administration announced that local and federal law enforcement officers across the United States are “closely monitoring” for connected threats. Within a week of Oct. 7, scattered reports were made to the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee of F.B.I. visits to mosques, and women in hijabs were reportedly being assaulted in several cities.

Though communities were braced for what was to come, no one could have predicted that the first hate crime would be the killing of a 6-year-old Palestinian Muslim boy , Wadea Al-Fayoume, whose mother was rushed to the hospital after also being repeatedly stabbed. Joseph Czuba, their landlord, was charged in the killing. (He has pleaded not guilty.) According to the boy’s mother, Mr. Czuba had become violent after the news of Oct. 7 and yelled, “You Muslims must die,” before stabbing Wadea 26 times. While speaking at Wadea’s funeral , one religious leader, Imam Omar Suleiman, wondered in his remarks: “Have we not learned anything from 9/11? Do we really want to live those dark years again?”

Perhaps because those “dark years” were not so long ago, attacks like the one on Wadea feel as though they are opening a barely closed wound. One Illinois resident told me that community members are now planning patrols for their children, not dissimilar to those started by some mosques after Mr. Trump was elected. “This is exactly what we were afraid of,” Abed Ayoub, the director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, told me recently.

What happened to the Muslim community in the United States after Sept. 11 — the surveillance, the targeting, the fear — was intimately tied to many Americans’ belief in the righteousness of what our government was doing abroad. As the United States invaded first Afghanistan and then Iraq, both wars that wrought devastating civilian casualties and paved the way for political chaos, the public perception of Muslims in America plummeted to new lows. Within a year of the Iraq invasion, a Pew poll found that a larger number of Americans believed Islam was more likely than other religions to encourage violence. By 2014, Muslims ranked lowest in another Pew poll of how the American public views different religious groups.

That unfounded perception has remained in the years since. The sudden arrival of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria only deepened the suspicion of Muslims in America as an ever-present threat. Once again, Islam appeared in close connection to terrorism in the American imagination as images of masked figures carrying out gruesome executions reinforced twisted stereotypes of Muslims. The ISIS phenomenon of the Western recruit meant that any wayward Muslim teenager could be a threat and that even the most assimilated people had the potential to become terrorists.

Since the Israel-Hamas war started, these long-held suspicions now appear to be seeping into the public debate again over showing support for Palestinians in Gaza, more than 8,000 of whom have been killed since the bombardment began, according to the Gazan health ministry. The false connection between supporting civilians in Gaza and the terrorist activities of Hamas is manifesting across our country’s public institutions. From college campuses to places of work, people are facing retribution for expressing support for Palestinians that is being misconstrued as anti-Israel or pro-Hamas. Companies have rescinded job offers, journalists have been fired for sharing posts, and students whose organizations have signed statements have been smeared publicly . The scale of suppression of speech by social media platforms, such as the shadow banning of Gaza-related posts and the blocking of accounts on Instagram , has been alarming enough that Human Rights Watch has started to document it.

Perhaps the Sept. 11 comparison and the good-guy/bad-guy binary can be evoked successfully because there has been almost no accountability for the failures of the war on terrorism. The oversimplification is made worse by Mr. Biden, who, in the same visit to Tel Aviv during which he cautioned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government to avoid the “mistakes” America made after Sept. 11, he also referred to Palestinians as “the other team.” There is no call from Israel to win the “hearts and minds” of Palestinians, as George W. Bush claimed to do with Iraqis; there is no call to bring freedom to Gaza, as the United States said it wanted to do in Afghanistan. Instead, Mr. Biden has not publicly admonished the Israeli defense minister for saying that his country was fighting “human animals.” And at home, he and other leaders have offered little to assuage the growing fears in the Arab and Muslim community: Last week he had a private meeting with Muslim leaders that the administration never publicly announced. Though the White House released a statement the day after Wadea Al-Fayoume’s killing, the president didn’t call the boy’s family until five days later.

The Oct. 7 attacks didn’t happen on American soil, but this is an intimate war for many Americans. Some families wait desperately for scraps of news of their loved ones taken hostage by Hamas. Others search for some sign of their loved ones in Gaza, waiting for the blue checks to show that their WhatsApp messages have been read by family members who are trying to stay alive amid near-constant bombing and a lack of food and water.

The first Friday after Oct. 7, the first holy day for Muslims and Jews since the attacks, New York City and the rest of the country seemed to be on high alert, bracing itself because a former Hamas leader in Qatar had called for protests across Arab nations in support of the Palestinians, a call which was mislabeled as a day of jihad. I decided to visit the Islamic Center at N.Y.U., expecting a tense and nervous congregation. Instead, an imam finished his speech, and the women around me lined up to pray. As we knelt together, all I could hear was sobs.

We’ve been here before, but we don’t have to be here again.

Rozina Ali is a contributing writer at The New York Times Magazine and a contributing editor at Lux magazine. She is also a 2024 New America fellow.

Source photographs by Fadel Senna, Jonathan Ernst, Jim Watson, Tolga Tezcan/Getty Images.

The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We’d like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips . And here’s our email: [email protected] .

Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook , Twitter (@NYTopinion) and Instagram .

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Opinion: Nothing has prepared me for the antisemitism I see on college campuses now

A sign at a demonstration supporting Palestinians at Pershing Square in Los Angeles on Saturday.

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I am a 70-year-old Jewish man, but never in my life have I seen or felt the antisemitism of the last few weeks. I have heard antisemitic things from time to time through my life. I remember as a child being called a “dirty Jew,” and my friends and I being called “Christ killers” as we walked to Hebrew school. I recall a college girlfriend’s parents telling her that she should not go out with me because “Jews are different.” I had an incident in a class I was teaching about the ethics of negotiations, where a student matter of factly said, “the other side will try to Jew you down,” without the slightest sense of how that was a slur.

But none of this prepared me for the last few weeks. On Friday, someone in my school posted on Instagram a picture of me with the caption, “Erwin Chemerinsky has taken an indefinite sabbatical from Berkeley Law to join the I.D.F.” Two weeks ago, at a town hall, a student told me that what would make her feel safe in the law school would be “to get rid of the Zionists.” I have heard several times that I have been called “part of a Zionist conspiracy,” which echoes of antisemitic tropes that have been expressed for centuries.

I was stunned when students across the country, including mine, immediately celebrated the Hamas terrorist attack in Israel on Oct. 7. Students for Justice in Palestine called the terror attack a “historic win” for the “Palestinian resistance.” A Columbia professor called the Hamas massacre “awesome” and a “stunning victory.” A Yale professor tweeted , “It’s been such an extraordinary day!” while calling Israel a “murderous, genocidal settler state.” A Chicago art professor posted a note reading, “Israelis are pigs. Savages. Very very bad people. Irredeemable excrement…. May they all rot in hell.” A UC Davis professor tweeted , “Zionist journalists … have houses w addresses, kids in school,” adding “they can fear their bosses, but they should fear us more.” There are, sadly, countless other examples.

Los Angeles, CA - Students rally on the UCLA campus in support of Palestinians caught up in the conflict that continued to rage unabated between Palestinians and Israelis in the Middle East on Thursday, Oct. 12, 2023. The two peoples have been in a constant state of war for 75 years. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Opinion: Let students speak for themselves on Israel and Hamas. We don’t need outside groups to doxx or threaten anyone

No college student should be made to feel unsafe on campus. Most genuinely care about all civilians affected by the terror attack on Israel and the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

Oct. 19, 2023

How can anyone celebrate the killing of 260 people attending a music festival, or the brutal massacre of more than 100 people in a kibbutz, or the pulling of people from their houses to take as hostages? If this happened to people who were not Jews would there be such celebrations?

I have heard few campus administrators speak out publicly about the antisemitism that has become prevalent this month. They want to seem neutral or not be perceived as Islamophobic. I understand. I, too, refrained from speaking out against those who defended Hamas’ terrorist attack.

But when do we stop being silent and when do we say the antisemitism must be condemned and it is not acceptable on our campuses? I believe this must be that time.

Los Angeles, CA - October 14: An unidentified man, wearing a yarmulke, attempts to hold a small Israeli flag over his head, but is soon confronted by people, as thousands of pro-Palestinian supporters rallied in front of the Israeli Consulate and then marched down Wilshire Boulevard toward the Federal Building, in Los Angeles, CA, Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

Opinion: We are a Palestinian and an Israeli in Los Angeles. We find comfort and hope in mourning together

Our close connection does not mean we agree on all aspects of the catastrophic situation in the Middle East. But the path to peace starts by not selectively grieving only those with whom we share religion or national origin.

Oct. 17, 2023

To be clear, I — and I hope all of us — mourn the loss of life in Israel and in Gaza. There is surely room in our hearts to feel compassion for all who are in danger and all who have lost loved ones. But it is simply wrong to confuse condemning antisemitism with ignoring the plight of the Palestinians.

Of course, criticism of the Israeli government is not antisemitism, any more than criticizing the policies of the United States government is anti-American. I strongly oppose the policies of the Netanyahu government, favor full rights for Palestinians, and believe that there must be a two-state solution. But if you listen to what is being said on college campuses now, some of the loudest voices are not advocating for a change in Israeli policies, but are calling for an end to Israel. Students regularly chant, “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” and “We don’t want no two states, we want all of 48,” referring to going back to 1948 before Israel existed.

An oft-repeated mantra among some is that Israel is a settler colonialist country and should be forced to give the land back to the Palestinians. I have no idea how it would be determined who is rightly entitled to what land, but I do know that calling for the total elimination of Israel is antisemitic.

There has been enough silence and enough tolerance of antisemitism on college campuses. I call on my fellow university administrators to speak out and denounce the celebrations of Hamas and the blatant antisemitism that is being voiced.

Students have the right to say very offensive and even hateful things, but school administrators — deans, presidents and chancellors — have free speech rights too. They must exercise them and take a stand even if it will offend some and subject them to criticism.

It is a very difficult time on campuses across the country. Many of our students and faculty members have family and friends in Israel or in Gaza. Many care deeply about the suffering we are seeing, and yet there is no bridge between those who seek the elimination of Israel and those who believe it is essential to have a Jewish state. I hope there will be a time when campus officials can find ways to bring their communities together. But it is not realistic now. This makes it all the more important that they show moral leadership and speak out against the antisemitism that is rampant now, as they would condemn all other forms of racism and hate on campus.

Erwin Chemerinsky is a contributing writer to Opinion and the dean of the UC Berkeley School of Law. His latest book is “ Worse Than Nothing : The Dangerous Fallacy of Originalism.”

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College football scores: top 25 rankings, schedule, results for week 10.

college essay about 9/11

Week 10 of the college football season is up next. Here is the full schedule for AP Top 25 teams this week. The season's first College Football Playoff rankings will be announced this Tuesday, Oct. 31.

College football top 25 schedule, scores for Week 10

Saturday, Nov. 4:

  • No. 1 Ohio State at Rutgers | 12 p.m. | CBS
  • No. 2 Georgia vs. No. 12 Missouri | 3:30 p.m. | CBS Sports
  • No. 3 Michigan vs. Purdue | 7:30 p.m. | NBC
  • No. 4 Florida State at Pitt | 3:30 p.m. | ESPN
  • No. 5 Washington at No. 20 Southern California | 7:30 p.m. | ABC
  • No. 6 Oregon vs. Cal | 5:30 p.m. | Pac-12 Network
  • No. 7 Texas vs. No. 23 Kansas State | 12 p.m. | FOX
  • No. 8 Alabama vs. No. 14 LSU | 7:45 p.m. | CBS
  • No. 9 Oklahoma at No. 22 Oklahoma State | 3:30 p.m. | ABC
  • No. 10 Ole Miss vs. Texas A&M | 12 p.m. | ESPN
  • No. 11 Penn State at Maryland | 3:30 p.m. | FOX
  • No. 13 Louisville vs. Virginia Tech | 3:30 p.m. | ACC Network
  • No. 15 Notre Dame at Clemson | 12 p.m.  | ABC
  • No. 16 Oregon State at Colorado | 10 p.m. | ESPN
  • No. 17 Tennessee vs. UConn | 12 p.m. | SEC Network
  • No. 18 Utah vs. Arizona State | 2 p.m. | Pac-12 Networks
  • No. 19 UCLA at Arizona | 10:30 p.m. | FS1
  • No. 21 Kansas at Iowa State | 7 p.m. | ESPN
  • No. 24 Tulane at East Carolina | 3:30 p.m.
  • No. 25 Air Force vs. Army | 2 p.m. | CBSSN

College Football Playoff Poll

Released Oct. 31

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Far-right MAGA theocrats: Most dangerous threat to America

Even mitch mcconnell is trying to push back against mike johnson and the maga wing of the gop. it isn't working, by brian karem, published november 2, 2023 9:46am (edt), updated november 3, 2023 5:54pm (edt).

Longtime White House correspondent Brian Karem writes a weekly column for Salon.

The world inches closer to a war that only psychopaths want to see.

On Tuesday the FBI issued a warning that the chance of staged terrorist attacks in the United States has grown since the war began in Gaza. In the White House briefing later that day, Fox News reporter Peter Doocy asked National Security Council spokesman John Kirby: “Has the White House considered the possibility that a terrorist could be in the country right now after crossing the southern border?”

Obviously they have, or the FBI wouldn’t have issued the warning. The question remains, however, what our government response would be to such an attack. That has already been discussed at the highest levels in our government, and the public has a right to know what that reaction would be.

So, although I wasn’t called on, as Kirby left the stage I interrupted to ask the only question I thought mattered: “John, wait a minute. Before you leave: If Hamas terrorists attack the U.S., would the U.S. put boots on the ground in the Middle East?”

Kirby stopped his retreat from the stage, and press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre let him answer. Kirby was succinct: “I won't speculate about that, Brian. We’ll obviously do what we have to do to protect our troops and our people.” 

On that same day, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer showed up at the White House with a bipartisan group — Sens. Todd Young, R-Ind., Mike Rounds, R-S.D. and Martin Heinrich, D-N.M. — to talk to President Biden and help steer a congressional response to the threat posed by SKYNET … sorry, I mean AI. It’s a bipartisan effort, but there are both Republicans and Democrats who remain opposed.  

Bipartisanship, once seen as a laudable goal on many issues, is now sneered at by most remaining members of the Republican Party. Working with Democrats, for them, is like choosing death over a slice of cake. (Apologies to Eddie Izzard.)

Most Republicans are so dismayed at the prospect of working with Democrats that they want to scuttle efforts to fund the war in Ukraine, virtually isolating Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell , who seems to be nearly alone on an island calling for aid to continue. It’s a rare display of common sense from the 81-year-old Kentuckian, whose primary focus is on political power. 

Bipartisanship was once seen as a laudable goal. But for most remaining Republicans, working with Democrats is like choosing death over a slice of cake.

"No Americans are getting killed in Ukraine,” McConnell said . “We're rebuilding our industrial base. The Ukrainians are destroying the army of one of our biggest rivals. I have a hard time finding anything wrong with that. I think it's wonderful that they're defending themselves — and also the notion that the Europeans are not doing enough. They've done almost $90 billion, they're housing a bunch of refugees who escaped. I think that our NATO allies in Europe have done quite a lot." 

Few Democrats have said it any better, and it spelled out exactly what the stakes are for the U.S. in the ongoing war in Ukraine. Remember that Vlad “The Impaler” Putin has clearly suggested that he wants to get the old Soviet Union band back together — Ukraine is just the first stop in a quest for global hegemony.

Fellow Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul said that McConnell was “ out of touch ” with his party's base while Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley chided McConnell for siding with Democrats — and that was before Homeland Security chief Alejandro Mayorkas gave Hawley a tongue-lashing on border issues later that afternoon. It looks like Putin still has a few fans in the GOP.

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In the House, those would likely include newly-minted House Speaker Mike Johnson (and that still sounds like a Bart Simpson prank call to Moe’s Bar), who took on McConnell directly, pushing to unlink aid to Israel from aid to Ukraine.  

While the world burns, Johnson and the MAGA wing of the Republican Party — which seems to have swallowed the evangelical movement while also embracing it (a T-1000 morphing into Sarah Connor is just about the right image) — is embracing the darkest verses of the Bible, apparently pushing for apocalypse with an enthusiasm only rivaled by Saul’s slaughter of Christians before he changed his name to Paul.

I’m waiting for Mel Brooks to break out into song : “Let all those who wish to confess their evil ways and accept and embrace the true church convert now or forever burn in hell — for now begins the Inquisition!”

The House of Representatives, now run by Johnson, offers a discount version of the apocalyptic orgasm the holy rollers have dreamed of for years. They’ve renewed the Inquisition and seem determined to convert the U.S. into a theocracy run by people who will thump you with the Bible, but haven’t read much of it. 

Lord, how they love to preach fire and brimstone. But the Sermon on the Mount and the Beatitudes? Forget it. Matthew 25:40 : “Whatever you did it for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me”? Not a chance. They’ve embraced only the Old Testament angry God and the apocalyptic parts of Revelation brought on by ergot poisoning. 

They want no separation of church and state. They want an isolationist country surrounded by walls and dedicated to the proposition that the First Amendment guarantees them the right to worship any way they want — while forcing the rest of us to worship the way they choose.

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While the Age of Enlightenment led men — after hundreds of years of bloody crusades — to give up on state religions and was a direct inspiration for our Bill of Rights, modern Republicans seem hellbent on returning to the Middle Ages, driven there by the first Christian nationalist House speaker.

The First Amendment's establishment clause prohibits the government from making any law “respecting an establishment of religion.” That not only forbids the government from establishing an official religion, but also prohibits government actions that unduly favor one religion over another.

Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, a constitutional scholar, says there was a solid reason for this much-debated and carefully written clause: “The framers taught us that the biggest threat to religious freedom comes from theocrats who try to establish their own sect over everyone else. That’s why we have two religion clauses in the First Amendment.”

None of that matters to the Republicans. They revel in their own chicanery. They despise free thought and independence, and are happy to play games with a government shutdown — the modern equivalent of fiddling while it all burns. Stay tuned. Nov. 17, the next shutdown deadline, is just around the corner. 

On a day the Republicans were mired in their own gamesmanship, an Israeli air strike targeting a Hamas commander in the densely-populated Jabaliya refugee camp in northern Gaza left catastrophic damage and killed hundreds of people, according to medics and eyewitnesses.

Children were seen carrying other children away from the blast zone. “It felt like the end of the world,” one surviving witness said.

That is our world today. It took an asteroid the size of a modern city to wipe out the dinosaurs. People, being smarter than dinosaurs, have figured out how to destroy everything all by ourselves. Climate change is slowly creeping up on us and we are killing each other at an increasing rate. It took a Category 5 hurricane to kill 40-odd people in Acapulco last week. We killed that many in two mass shootings in the U.S. in about the same amount of time — and spared the property. Pogo was right: We have met the enemy and he is us.

Donald Trump faces 91 felonies in four different jurisdictions, while facing civil sanctions in New York that could cost him a large chunk of his financial empire. He is effectively also on trial in Colorado as that state tries to ban him from the ballot next November. I spoke with Michael Cohen on Wednesday morning, a few days after he testified in Trump’s civil trial in New York. He believes Trump could lose as much as $600 million to $700 million in that case, essentially leaving him broke.

Joe Biden is in danger of becoming the 2024 equivalent of Jimmy Carter — a one-term president who will be admired after he leaves office far more than when he held it.

Joe Biden’s popularity continues to shrink faster than unemployment, threatening to make him the 2024 equivalent of Jimmy Carter — a one-term president who will be admired after he leaves office more than he ever was while holding it. Part of that is Biden’s fault. Part of it is because of people like Mike Johnson, who claim we don’t live in a democracy and that Gawd oversees our government.

You might think that all this would be serious food for thought in the news. But people are so tired of thinking about life on the razor’s edge that most news seems about as palatable as raw sewage — which is an all too accurate metaphor.

Our problem in the press is that we have so few people with the experience and education to handle the serious issues facing us. 

So whether it is a possible world war, stochastic terrorism, Christian theocracy, climate change, Donald Trump, our own government or something else unforeseen, for most people it is a time of trepidation and terror.

As Biden left the stage in the East Room on Monday, after about 15 minutes talking about artificial intelligence, he circled around to his standard stump speech, the one where he defines America with one word, “possibilities,” and says he remains hopeful that the best is still ahead.

He has said this for three years, and I only wish more people would listen. Instead, at the end of the day, as the world spins out of control, people want bread and circuses to keep them from contemplating the horrors that we ourselves have created.

Bring on Mel Brooks:

The Inquisition, what a show! The Inquisition, here we go! We know you're wishin' that we go away So come on, you Muslims and you Jews We got big news for all of youse You better change your point of views today 'cause the Inquisition's here and it's here to stay!

UPDATE: The headline to this article has been changed since it was first published.

from Brian Karem on the world in chaos

  • GOP finally picks a speaker: But the hellish chaos of D.C. won't end anytime soon
  • Joe Biden visits an actual war zone; House GOP tries to pull its pants up
  • Hamas and the GOP are both terrorist groups — it's just a matter of degree

Brian Karem is the former senior White House correspondent for Playboy. He has covered every presidential administration since Ronald Reagan, sued Donald Trump three times successfully to keep his press pass, spent time in jail to protect a confidential source, covered wars in the Middle East and is the author of seven books. His latest is " Free the Press ."

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college essay about 9/11

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After 3 straight losses, Maryland faces a big challenge this weekend against No. 9 Penn State

No. 9 Penn State (7-1, 4-1 Big Ten, No. 11 CFP) at Maryland (5-3, 2-3), Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (Fox)

Line: Penn State by 8 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook .

Series record: Penn State leads 42-3-1.


Penn State tries to avoid a potential trap game the week before a showdown with Michigan. The Terrapins have lost three straight, including a couple games as big favorites against Illinois and Northwestern, and Maryland still needs one more win to secure bowl eligibility.


Penn State QB Drew Allar vs. the Maryland secondary. Allar threw an FBS-record 311 passes before finally being intercepted for the first time in last week’s win over Indiana. The Terps have nine interceptions on the season, which ranks fourth in the Big Ten, but only one of those has come during the team’s three-game skid.


Penn State: DE Adisa Isaac. Defensive coordinator Manny Diaz likes to bring pressure from all angles. Seventeen different Nittany Lions have at least one sack this season and Isaac leads them with 5 1/2. With star end Chop Robinson likely out again, Isaac will be counted on even more to help contain Maryland QB Taulia Tagovailoa.

Maryland: Corey Dyches has 29 catches on the season, tops among Big Ten tight ends. He’s one of four Terrapins with at least 25 receptions and 300 yards receiving. That’s tied with Colorado State for the most players in the FBS to reach those marks.


Penn State has held its last seven opponents under 100 yards rushing. … The Nittany Lions lead the Big Ten and are third nationally with 32 sacks. … Maryland has won 17 consecutive games when leading after the third quarter. ... The Terrapins haven’t beaten a top-10 opponent since 2007, when they defeated No. 8 Boston College, a team that included Matt Ryan at QB. Maryland was on a three-game losing streak before that game, too. ... Maryland hasn’t been bowl eligible in three straight seasons since 2006-08.

Get alerts on the latest AP Top 25 poll throughout the season. Sign up here ___

AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/college-football


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  1. 9/11 Essay • Examples of Thesis Statement, Topics Ideas

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  23. Student-to-Student: Advice from Davidson College Students on the

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  29. Iowa Law Announcements

    Warmest regards,- Asian Pacific American Law Student Association- Black Law Student Association- Hispanic Law Student Association - South Asian Law Student Association (SALSA) Student Resources Academic Success Next Tuesday Talk-About-It is Nov. 7, 12:35 to 1:20pm (in BLB 225). The topic will be "Tackling an Essay Exam for a Touchdown."

  30. After 3 straight losses, Maryland faces a big challenge this weekend

    No. 9 Penn State (7-1, 4-1 Big Ten, No. 11 CFP) at Maryland (5-3, 2-3), Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (Fox) Line: Penn State by 8 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook . Sign up for The Sports Moment, a ...