It is safe to assume that by now the average Vanguard student is and has been well aware of the recent ceremonies in remembrance of the terror attacks of September 11. It is also safe to assume that the entire student body knows it is the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11, which marks a significant span of time between our present and the tragedy. It is indeed strange to believe that it has already been a full decade since our nation was struck by perhaps the most horrific act of violence it has ever experienced on its own soil. With ten years gone by, it is important to ask ourselves how this traumatic event has affected the country as a whole? Has it changed our nation’s foreign policy? How has it affected Vanguard’s campus? In a recent interview, History Professor David Marley expressed his personal opinions concerning September 11 and how he believed it affected the nation.
Although Prof. Marley has no relatives or friends who were victims of the fall of the World Trade Centers, he does know professors who have had students who lost their parents in the twin towers. In addition, he explained a connection he has in regards to the location of the Pentagon.
“I lived on the one street that actually looked over the Pentagon,” said Marley.
What’s more, he and his wife only moved out in December of 2000, only nine months before the attack. At a Christian Correlation meeting in the spring of 1999, Marley went to see George W. Bush. Marley remembers coming home that night and telling his wife, “I saw the governor of Texas George W. Bush, if he becomes president we’re going to go to war with Iraq.”
He then explained that on Sept. 11 he was teaching at Cal State Fullerton and happened to have the day off when his mother called him telling him what had happened. He then spent the entire day watching the news. He recalls explaining to his wife later that day, “They think it was Al Qaeda, but he [Bush] is going to use this to go to war with Iraq. I absolutely guarantee you this means war with Iraq.”
According to Professor Marley, there was a report that said that Bin Laden was determined to attack the United States and how they were planning on hijacking planes. However, Condoleezza Rice, head of the National Security Agency, advised the president not to worry about it. Not only that, but according to Marley two of the hijackers were on a “no fly list” from the FBI, yet managed to buy tickets under their regular name and hop on the plane. Marley believes that the country has become far less safe and has turned into a “much more divided country, a lot angrier. It’s like if you don’t blindly support the president then you’re not completely anti-terrorist” He went on to explain that America’s foreign policy has become very aggressive and has made the United States very unpopular to the rest of the world.
“Even though it [September 11] was a tragedy, I’d hate to think that it would define us forever. I would hope that we could remember it but not be defined by it,” said Marley.
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