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Survey Finds 9/11 Still Influences Americans’ Activities

People view names of victims at ceremonies held to mark 19th anniversary of September 11, 2001 attacks on World Trade Center in New York. (Reuters)

As the United States approaches the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people, many Americans say the event is still affecting their lives, a Gallup survey indicates.

The survey found that today, 26% of Americans “express reluctance” to fly, 27% feel the same way about going into skyscrapers, and 36% feel the same way about traveling abroad. Thirty-seven percent were uneasy about attending events involving large crowds.

Immediately following the attacks, those numbers were 43%, 35%, 48% and 30%, respectively.

Lower-income Americans over 50 and without a college degree were more likely to feel reluctance about engaging in those activities.

The survey, conducted before the deadly attacks at the Kabul airport on Aug. 26, also found Americans were “significantly less likely to say the U.S. is winning the war on terrorism.”

Ten years ago, 42% said the U.S. was winning, compared with 28% now.

“The declining belief that the U.S. is winning the war is apparent among all (political) party groups,” Gallup said.

Another survey finding was that Americans have “diminished confidence” in the government’s ability to protect citizens.

“Prior to the Aug. 26 attack on U.S. troops at the Kabul airport, the majority of Americans, 59%, were very (18%) or somewhat (41%) confident the U.S. government can protect its citizens from terrorism.” Gallup found. “This level of confidence was significantly lower than in 2011 (75%) and in the immediate days after the 9/11 terror attacks (88%).”

The survey also found that 36% of Americans “said they were very or somewhat worried about being the victim of terrorism.” That number was the same 10 years ago, but down from the 51% shortly after 9/11.

Poll results were based on telephone interviews conducted Aug. 2-17, with a random sample of 1,006 adults, age 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

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