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The Tragic Impact And Devastating Legacy Of September 11

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A woman looks out at One World Trade Center from inside the 9/11 Empty Sky memorial at Liberty State Park in Jersey City, N.J., on Wednesday. Americans commemorated the 12th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks with solemn ceremonies and pledges to not forget the nearly 3,000 people killed.
A woman looks out at One World Trade Center from inside the 9/11 Empty Sky memorial at Liberty State Park in Jersey City, N.J., on Wednesday. Americans commemorated the 12th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks with solemn ceremonies and pledges to not forget the nearly 3,000 people killed.

The U.S. is fast approaching the 20th anniversary of September 11, 2001, when a series of four coordinated terrorist attacks were responsible for the loss of 2,977 lives and more than 6,000 injuries at the World Trade Center and Pentagon, and aboard the planes involved.

The events of that day caused immeasurable tragedy and sparked a military and national security response that led to devastating consequences spanning four presidencies, including the two-decades-long occupation of Afghanistan that recently ended in a complete withdrawal.

A report from the Costs of War project at Brown University revealed that 20 years of post-9/11 wars have cost the U.S. an estimated $8 trillion and have killed more than 900,000 people.

Has the nation changed for better of worse in the wake of 9/11? Is the country more prepared should an attack happen again on U.S. soil?

What is the legacy of 9/11 from service members’ perspectives? How has that day and its aftermath impacted U.S. active military and veterans?

"America After 9/11" airs on PBS stations (KLRN in San Antonio) and begins streaming on PBS.org/frontline, YouTube and in the PBS Video App on Tuesday, Sept. 7 at 8 p.m. Central.

Guests:

  • Michael Kirk, director, co-writer and co-producer of the FRONTLINE film "America After 9/11"
  • Queta Rodriguez, retired U.S. Marine Corps Captain who served in Afghanistan, co-chair of the San Antonio Regional Community Veterans Engagement Board and regional director for national veteran career assistance nonprofit FourBlock
  • Ben Miranda, retired U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sergeant who served in Operation Enduring Freedom, director of operational impact and outreach for San Antonio-based national service organization Endeavors, and member of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's Texas Military Preparedness

This program is in collaboration with the American Homefront Project, made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

"The Source" is a live call-in program airing Mondays through Thursdays from 12-1 p.m. Leave a message before the program at (210) 615-8982. During the live show, call 833-877-8255, email thesource@tpr.org or tweet @TPRSource.

*This interview was recorded on Tuesday, September 7.