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A day that changed the world

Mark July 2019 1Can you vividly remember where you were and what you were doing when you received the devastating news about the attacks of September 11, 2001?  We rushed to turn on our radios and televisions to confirm the unbelievable madness that had just occurred. No one could fathom a catastrophic terrorist attack of this magnitude taking place in America. This was the deadliest attack in world history. In the space of 102 minutes, two hijacked commercial airliners struck the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City; another plane flew into the Defense Department’s headquarters at the Pentagon in Northern Virginia; and a fourth plane crashed into the ground at full speed outside Shanksville, Pennsylvania. This multi-pronged terrorist attack took the lives of close to 3,000 people.

In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, the United States went to war against the Taliban in Afghanistan. Nineteen years later, we are still fighting in Afghanistan, making it the longest war in U.S. history. An invasion of Iraq soon followed resulting in the overthrow of Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship. The invasion and occupation by American forces created havoc that ignited an aggressive jihadist terrorism campaign which engulfed the Middle East. The campaign was also responsible for attacks in Europe and the United States. To this day, well over twice as many American military personnel have been killed in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq than the number of people who died during the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The horrific destruction of Sept. 11, 2001, forced the U.S. government to reexamine and restructure its national security apparatus, an undertaking that had not been done since WW II. A new cabinet department responsible for homeland security was created incorporating 22 separate federal agencies and one new one – the Transportation Security Administration. The TSA is now in charge of securing both cargo and passenger flights operating on scheduled regular routes. Billions of dollars have been spent on the homeland security enterprise in an effort to disrupt and prevent terrorist plots. The dedicated effort to counter jihadist terrorism has been strong, although not perfect, as exhibited by the loss of life in Fort Hood, Texas; San Bernardino, California; Orlando, Florida and the vehicle ramming attack in New York City.

As a civil aviation security field officer for the Federal Aviation Administration on Sept. 11, 2001, Mark Randol had a unique vantage point for the dramatic events on that day. At 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 12, 2021, he will provide a brief overview of the attacks, including some little known facts and statistics. In addition, Randol will summarize the U.S. government’s response covering the past three presidential administrations, along with insightful observations about how the attacks have profoundly changed America.


DATE:  Friday, Feb. 12

LECTURE Time: 7 - 8:30 p.m.     

COST:  $15

LOCATION:  Renaissance Theater 


For Additional Information:

Bergen, Peter. The Longest War: The Enduring Conflict Between America and Al-Qaeda. New York: Free Press, 2011.

Greenberg, Karen J.  Rogue Justice: The Making of the Security State. New York: Crown Publishers 2016.

The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States. The 9/11 Commission Report, July 22, 2004

Lawrence Wright, The Looming Tower: Al Qaeda and the Road to 9/11. New York: Alfred A Knopf, 2007.