Democracy and Homeland Security: Strategies, Controversies, and Impact

Part I. Papers Presented in Panels 1–4

Two Years Later: Children’s Understanding of the September 11 Terrorist Attacks

Kathleen Walker, Kent State University


I remember waking up to the sound of the phone ringing. I remember my husband’s voice as he told his boss, yes, he would turn on the television. I remember him calling me into the living room: “Kathy, something’s happening in New York.” And I remember watching the first tower fall, the news commentator seeing it seconds later on his monitor, all of us shocked into silence. More than two and a half years have passed since that day; yet the date and its events are remembered by most of us with an extreme clarity saved only for moments of terrible tragedy—December 7, 1941, November 22, 1963, May 4, 1970, and now, more recently, September 11, 2001.

Two and a half years after the terrorist attacks, scholars are still trying to understand what happened. For many of us, September 11 became a catalyst for creativity, and as a result, volumes of published reports on the impact and meaning of September 11 have become available. Among these reports, a growing body of literature examining the public’s reaction to September 11 has emerged. National surveys have looked beyond those victimized by the attacks in New York and Washington, D.C., and considered the impact of September 11 on individuals far removed from Ground Zero.1 But even when scholars have considered the general public’s reaction to September 11, little attention has been given to children, a significant demographic of the general public when we assume them to have a role in the future of our democracy.

Reports on the reactions of children and adolescents to the events of September 11 are available, but most published findings have been based on parental or other adult perceptions of children’s reactions.2 According to the parental reports analyzed in one national study, children’s reactions included symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other signs of mental distress.3 In another study, parents and other adults described the children in their households as still upset by the events of September 11 one to two months after the attacks took place.4 A year later, parents reported that their children continued to express fears about terrorism.5

Of primary concern to many parents in these national studies was their children’s exposure to media coverage of the terrorist attacks. Many parents indicated they made efforts to limit their children’s access to television in the aftermath of September 11.6 Even with the best of intentions, however, few children were likely to escape the ubiquitous images of planes flying into buildings, people running away, crying and shouting, or people injured or dying. In a study specifically examining children’s media exposure to September 11, the authors reported that a majority of children in the sample saw numerous images related to the terrorist attacks.7 The authors also reported an association between media exposure and symptoms of PTSD.

Despite the apparent interest in children’s media exposure to September 11 and the investigation into children’s reactions via parental reports, very little is known regarding children’s actual knowledge of the terrorist attacks or what has influenced that knowledge. Few studies have asked children directly what they know about what happened on September 11, 2001, or how they learned about these events. The current study is intended to give voice to a group from whom we have heard very little so far. It focuses on children in the United States not directly impacted by the terrorist attacks (i.e., children outside of New York City and Washington, D.C.) and examines their knowledge of the events of September 11, approximately two years after they occurred. In addition, the present study investigates how children report learning about September 11, 2001, and the potential influence of television on their knowledge of these events.

The purpose of this chapter is to present the results of a qualitative analysis of children’s responses to a series of questions about September 11 and to begin a dialogue that considers the following: How do children in Ohio describe the events of September 11, 2001? What influences their “public opinion” of these events? How do the responses of children in Ohio compare to the responses of the public in general? And what might the responses of children growing up in the shadow of September 11, 2001, say about the future of democracy in the United States?


This study extends an ongoing multiuniversity investigation into parent-child communication about peace and war and children’s understanding of these concepts. In the present study, sixty children living in Ohio were interviewed between May and December of 2003. They ranged in age from 3 to 18 years. Twenty-nine girls and thirty-one boys were recruited through childcare programs, schools, individual contacts, and religious institutions. The structured interviews lasted between twenty and ninety minutes. Trained interviewers asked the children a series of open-ended questions regarding the events of September 11, 2001 (e.g., What do you know about what happened on September 11? Who was involved? Why did it happen?). Each interview session was audiotaped and transcribed by the interviewer.

The data analysis was qualitative. Recurring themes were identified as they emerged naturally from the data. As themes were noted, they were evaluated using two criteria: internal homogeneity (the extent that the data within a specific theme belong together) and external heterogeneity (the differences between themes—their distinctiveness from one another). I confirmed the meaningfulness and accuracy of the placement of data within each theme, working back and forth between the data and the identified themes to determine best fit. Peer examination and triangulation between two student raters and myself were used to help ensure the internal validity of the qualitative analysis. To help ensure external validity, specific quotes from the children were used to illustrate identified themes.

The goal of qualitative research is to emphasize the view of the participant and to examine the subject in question (in this case the events of September 11) from his/her perspective. At its best, qualitative research gives voice to participants who might not otherwise be heard. At least two limitations to this approach, however, must be addressed before any results can be presented. First, generalizing from this small, nonrandom sample to U.S. children as a group is not possible. Although I believe much can be gained from listening to the voices of these sixty children, their comments should not be considered representative of what all children in the United States (or even northeast Ohio) know about what happened on September 11. Second, I can report only what the children told us. They may know more than what they were willing to tell us at the time or remember things that didn’t happen. And, like any research that is based on self-report, we have to consider that these children may have told us what they thought we wanted to hear, despite their true feelings.

I have tried to emphasize these children’s authentic voices, even as I categorized their responses into themes. I will share with you their words and thoughts as they shared them with us. You will hear from an anonymous 4-year-old boy, anxious to return to his play, a 15-year-old girl struggling with the enormity of the terrorist attacks, and a 12-year-old boy willing to admit his confusion about what happened; their anonymity, however, makes their answers no less real than those of your son, your niece, or your neighbor.


So how do these children describe the events of September 11, 2001? This question is probably best answered with “it depends on their age.” I will begin with the responses of children in early childhood. These include twenty children, nine boys and eleven girls, who at the time of data collection were 3 to 6 years old. The majority of these children did not demonstrate an understanding of the events of September 11, 2001. In fact, only seven of them were able to tell us something about what happened; the results presented here are based on these seven children’s responses.

It is important to note that even among the seven children who did show an understanding of the events, some prompting was necessary. To ask the children about September 11, we created a series of three questions, increasingly more descriptive. The first of these was “Do you know anything about what happened in New York City and Washington, D.C., on September 11, 2001?” Only one of the seven children answered this question affirmatively. The other six needed the most descriptive of the questions (i.e., do you know anything about when planes ran into buildings on September 11?) before being able to tell us anything about what they knew. As you can imagine, it was not always easy to interview these very young children; halfway through one interview, a 4-year-old boy stopped answering questions for a moment, looked at me, and said, “This is when I should be at home playing.” Nevertheless, he and his six peers did have a few important things to say about September 11.

In their descriptions of what happened, two major themes emerged: (1) planes crashed into buildings (restating what was already described in the question) and (2) people got hurt or killed. A 4-year-old boy said it this way: “The terrorists were killing everybody. They killed the pilots and crashed. They killed the pilots. The terrorists killed the pilots and crashed the planes. And it was a big tower. Lots of people died, everybody in the plane, not just in the towers.” A 6-year-old girl stated, more succinctly, “It’s when the planes went into the buildings and a lot of people got hurt.”

Even fewer of these children reported any knowledge of who was involved. “Bad guys” and “terrorists” were mentioned as the perpetrators, but only one child specifically named Osama bin Laden as someone involved in what happened. The few children who offered explanations of why the attacks occurred described their understanding of the perpetrators’ motives. According to one 6-year-old girl, “They wanted to hurt people.” A boy of the same age stated, “Osama bin Laden doesn’t like our people.” One 5-year-old child explained the terrorist attacks differently than his peers. When asked who was involved and why the attacks happened, he identified George Bush and stated, “He got the terrorists mad.”

The twenty-two children in middle childhood (7 to 10 years old) were much more likely than their younger counterparts to say they knew something about the terrorist attacks on September 11. Of these eleven boys and eleven girls, only seven of them needed the most descriptive question that referred to the planes running into buildings.

In their descriptions of what happened, three themes emerged: (1) the destruction of the attacks, (2) the location of the attacks, and (3) the deaths from the attacks. “I remember that there were planes crashing into different parts of the United States and the different parts were where many people were at. There was the Pentagon . . . the Trade Center. And I know it killed a lot of people,” said one 10-year-old girl. Another 10-year-old girl stated, “I think Osama bin Laden was the leader and it was in New York and it was on September 11. And at school, we raised the flag half-mast. And thousands of people died.”

A few of these children did not know who was involved or could not remember any specific names, but most of the children mentioned the perpetrators and/or victims as being involved in the terrorist attacks, and many of them named Osama bin Laden as the person behind the attacks. “Well, mainly the citizens of . . . America and . . . Osama bin Laden and his terrorist group,” stated one 10-year-old boy when he was asked who was involved. A 9-year-old girl answered, “The hijackers and whoever hired the hijackers and the people in the planes and the people in the twin towers.”

In a few of the children’s responses, confusion between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden and their roles in the September 11 terrorist attacks was evident. One 9-year-old girl said, “I know that . . . some Iraqi people were mad at us and they crashed the planes . . . and killed lots of people.” A boy the same age stated, “the one that was the leader of . . . Iraq’s group, Osama bin Laden” was involved in the attacks. “I think Saddam Hussein,” said a 10-year-old girl.

Some children indicated they did not know why the terrorist attacks happened. Of those who did provide an explanation, two themes emerged. First, the terrorists attacked out of anger with or resentment of the United States. “He [Osama bin Laden] wanted to destroy a lot of our lives and just wreck our lives,” stated one 10-year-old boy. Another 10-year-old boy put it this way: “I think they just have something against us.”

Second, the terrorists attacked out of their own needs. When asked why the attacks happened, one 10-year-old girl stated, “Because Osama bin Laden wanted to show the United States of how scared they feel sometimes and how patriotic they are. How the Afghanistan people feel scared and always feel like they’re risking their life everyday.” An 8-year-old boy responded, “Because their country’s, like, poor.”

Not surprisingly, the eighteen children, eleven boys and seven girls, in the adolescent group also demonstrated an understanding of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Many of these adolescents mentioned the events of September 11 before they were even asked about them (when responding to other questions in the interview), and none of them had to be asked the more descriptive questions in order to tell us something about the terrorist attacks.

Like their younger counterparts in middle childhood, the adolescents described the death and destruction associated with the attacks and where the attacks took place. However, they often included details not typically seen in the answers of the children in middle childhood. “Two . . . Boeing 747s crashed into the North and South Tower of the World Trade Center. At like 8:50 . . . the first plane crashed into it, and about nine something . . . the second plane crashed into it. They [the Towers] burned for couple hours and then they toppled, killing . . . 2,800 people,” stated an 11-year-old boy. An 11-year-old girl responded by saying, “I know it was an act of terrorism. It happened at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Thousands were killed. It was a very sad day for our country. Our firefighters and police were killed.”

Some of the older adolescents also added what they knew of the terrorists involved. “It was a group of terrorists, I believe, from Afghanistan,” said a 15-year-old girl. According to a 16-year-old boy, “Several terrorists from the Middle East somewhere—they were part of some terrorist organization—had learned how to fly a plane and had hijacked a plane, hijacked several planes and crashed them into the World Trade Centers.” And one 15-year-old boy said this:

I know that . . . men of . . . a different culture, different ideals, came to our country cause . . . they thought that they knew our reputation of being greedy, of being mean people, and decided that they will stop us by killing . . . thousands of innocent people that didn’t deserve to die and they did something that I am not even sure they believed themselves. They were just told that they should believe. The leading man, Osama bin Laden, who said that this is worth dying for wouldn’t even put his own life at risk.

When asked who was involved in the events of September 11, the adolescents described both the victims of the terrorist attacks and the perpetrators, again naming Osama bin Laden as someone behind the attacks. A few of their answers also reflected a broader understanding than what was typically in the answers of the younger children. “The terrorists and the innocent people and I even say . . . all of America because this wasn’t just an attack on them, it was an attack on all of us because someway, somehow, we were all affected,” said a 15-year-old boy. A 17-year-old boy suggested the attacks involved “Islamic extremists, and the United States, and capitalism.” According to one 12-year-old boy, the “Taliban, the terrorists, [and] Osama bin Laden” were involved “cause he supplied the money to get this started. And it wasn’t good.”

Like some of the children in middle childhood, many of the adolescents attributed the terrorist attacks to the terrorists’ anger at or resentment of the United States. Stated a 15-year-old girl, “I think that this group that did it just, uh, had a strong hatred or dislike for the American people and wanted to show that.” A 12-year-old girl responded, “Because he [Osama bin Laden] doesn’t like that we have freedom in our country, and he was trying to weaken our country so he could take over.” And a 14-year-old boy explained that “Osama bin Laden was unhappy with the way the U.S. was going, so he attacked us.”

A few adolescents, mostly older boys, also provided broader sociopolitical explanations for the attacks. September 11 happened “because the enemies and terrorists don’t like our support of Israel,” said an 18-year-old boy. One 16-year-old boy stated the attacks happened “because people in the Middle East felt very angry for a lot of reasons . . . because they’re poor. They’re so much poorer than the U.S., and they blame us partially because, um, it’s true, we don’t, you know, we don’t help them very much.”

The vast majority of the children, at least those 8 and older, demonstrated some understanding of the terrorist attacks. At the same time, many of their answers reflected confusion about who was involved and why the attacks happened. Some of the older children and adolescents included the possible motives of the terrorists as well as the role of international relations. But how did they come to these conclusions? What influenced their public opinion of these events? To try to find out, we primarily asked the children two questions. The first of these was “How did you learn about this?” The second question began with “Did you see anything about this on TV?” If answered affirmatively, a series of questions about their television viewing was asked, including when and where they were watching, who watched with them, and what, if anything, they talked about as they watched.

When the children in early childhood were asked how they learned about September 11, most of them identified their parents as their only source of information. Even when specifically asked about whether they saw anything about the events on television, only two of the seven reported seeing anything specific. “I remember being able to see the plane crash into the building and the building blew up,” stated a 6-year-old boy. The lack of reported television viewing may be a result of such young children simply not remembering what they saw on TV two years earlier, when they were even younger. It may also be a result of parents limiting their youngest children’s exposure to the media coverage, as was reported in some of the national studies.8 Whatever the case, according to these children at least, their parents were a primary influence on how they came to understand what happened on September 11.

In contrast, most of the children in middle childhood reported two sources when asked how they learned of the terrorist attacks: the television news and/or their parents. A few of these children specifically described how they first learned about the attacks. A 10-year-old boy said this: “Well, I walked home one day with my brother and my sister, and I came home, and my mom and dad were watching the news. And I put my book bag down and the news was on and then they said there was like a kindergarten class on the bottom of . . . the Twin Towers. And I’m like, oh my gosh, all those people and kids and everybody.”

When asked specifically whether they saw anything about the September 11 attacks on television, most of the children in middle childhood responded positively. According to their reports, they typically saw coverage of the events on television when at home, watching the news with their parents. These children indicated that they did not really talk to their parents as they watched the events unfold on the television. “Everyone was just kind of silent,” said one 10-year-old boy. “We didn’t really talk about it. I just heard Mom, like, gasping,” stated a 9-year-old boy. Of those who did talk to their parents while they watched, the conversations seemed to center on the tragedy itself or concerns about war. When asked what she and her parents talked about, one 10-year-old girl said, “Just that it was bad.” And a 7-year-old girl remembered saying, “I wish war would end.”

Unlike their younger counterparts who continued to emphasize their parents as a primary source of information, the adolescents overwhelmingly reported learning of the September 11 attacks from the television news. The younger adolescents (11 to 14 years old) indicated they first saw news of the attacks on television at home with their families on September 11. The older adolescents (15 to 18 years old) reported first seeing news of the attacks on television in school with their classmates and teachers on the day of the attack. The adolescents reported seeing repeated coverage on the day of and many days after. Conversations, as the adolescents remembered them, primarily focused on trying to figure out what happened and why, and what the attacks would mean for the United States in the future. According to one 12-year-old boy, his family talked about “how sad it was and how scary it would be, after.” A 16-year-old boy described the focus of conversations with his classmates as “why they did it and sometimes why, you know, it hadn’t been prevented.” And one 18-year-old boy remembered his teacher saying, “how important this was and how you will never forget this day and what it’s gonna lead to next.”

Although it is impossible to say exactly how television and parents influenced the children’s public opinion of September 11 (e.g., whether one was more important regarding the children’s feelings about the attacks or another more important in terms of information), I think we can conclude that both parents and television played a role in shaping these children’s understanding of what happened. It also seems reasonable that television may have been a more important source for the adolescents (11 and older) and parents a more important source for the children (10 and younger). Other studies have reported similar trends for children and adolescents who described where they learned about war.9

Of course, the idea that many of these children and adolescents learned about the terrorist attacks from the news is in no way surprising. According to one national study, 90 percent of Americans got their news about the terrorist attacks from the television.10 In many cases, as the adults in the household were watching, so were the children. But what of their reactions to what they saw? How do the responses of the children in our study compare to the responses of the public in general?

The children in this study were asked to describe how they felt about the terrorist attacks when they first heard about them. Like their adult counterparts, almost all of them reported negative feelings. Children in all age groups described feelings of sadness and anger. Said a 5-year-old girl, “I feeled sad.” A 10-year-old boy stated, “I felt really sad, at that time, I did. My sister, she had, like, tears in her eyes.” One 9-year-old girl reported feeling mad “because someone hurt people.” A 15-year-old girl stated, “Angry, I thought it was really dumb.”

Fear and confusion were also mentioned by the children in middle childhood and adolescence. A 10-year-old boy said, “I was kinda confused. And at the same time, kinda worried, cause, I think everyone was a little worried cause they were, like, afraid that a plane would crash into our school.” Similarly, a girl his same age said, “I felt scared. I was only in the third grade and I thought maybe we were going to die, but I wasn’t sure.”

For most of the adolescents, however, the primary reaction was one of shock. “Um, how could this happen? What did we do to have this happen?” asked one 12-year-old boy. A 16-year-old boy said, “I felt odd that terrorism could be something so huge. And I guess that, you know, America’s not invincible.” A 15-year-old boy described feeling “sick and disturbed because I didn’t think that this could happen to our country because I thought that we were too advanced and I didn’t see why, I didn’t understand why.”

These responses will likely resonate with most Americans. The national surveys I reviewed typically focused on adult psychological reactions, measuring PTSD symptoms and stress reactions, in many cases shortly after the terrorist attacks had occurred. According to Schuster and colleagues, a sizable majority of their participants reported symptoms of stress three to five days after the attacks.11 Even a year later, many Americans continued to report feelings of anger, sadness, and fear.12

Other studies described reactions to the terrorist attacks in terms of increased spirituality13 and patriotism.14 Spirituality did not emerge as a theme in the children’s responses; for example, none of the children in this study made references to prayer, God, or religious institutions when asked about September 11. The questions we asked, however, were open-ended. In other studies, participants were asked to think specifically about their religiosity or prayer.

Likewise, children did not describe themselves as patriotic, although one or two mentioned they were proud of the firefighters involved in September 11 as well as those on the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania. In addition, the children in middle childhood and adolescence repeatedly used the pronouns “us” and “we” to identify themselves as belonging to a victimized America, in a group separate from the terrorists (often referred to as “they” or “them”). “I don’t see how it could have happened to us,” stated one 15-year-old girl. One 10-year-old boy said, “I forget why they did it. Our freedom, they are mad because we are free.” Being free was clearly valued by some of the children in this study and seen as a difference between “us” and “them.” However, it is unclear whether this translates into the patriotism adults reported feeling a year after the attacks.15

The children’s reactions to the terrorist attacks have implications for scholars interested in what happens when these children become adults. As with other generations, this one will have its own baggage; it is very likely that children who experienced September 11, even those far removed from the actual violence of the attacks, will bring with them to adulthood worldviews shaped by the enormity of this historical event. What those worldviews might be, I can only speculate. Like many of the adolescents, I wonder about what happens next. What do the responses of these children growing up in the shadow of September 11, 2001, say about the future of democracy in the United States?

As a scholar of child development, this final question is the one I am probably least prepared to answer. However, as a member of this intellectual community, one that values inquiry and reflection, I feel compelled to at least begin the dialogue. Of primary concern, for me, is the children’s sense of belonging to a victimized group. As previously mentioned, many of the older children and adolescents described who was involved in the attacks and why they happened in terms of “us” and “them.” According to some theorists, this type of division can lead to the dehumanizing of “the other,” an important component of societal violence.16 I would argue that the current U.S. administration has legitimized this type of thinking (i.e., the infamous axis of evil) and in doing so created a connection between September 11 and the war in Iraq without providing any evidence that one exists. And I believe these children were listening.

Many of them, for example, confused Osama bin Laden with Saddam Hussein. Others mentioned the terrorist attacks when answering questions about the war in Iraq. When asked who started the war in Iraq, one 12-year-old boy stated, “That’s kinda tricky. I mean, first . . . it was the . . . terrorists cause they went to us. And then we had to retaliate cause they just killed 2,800 civilians. And now Iraq has put threats on us and stuff and we want them to be a peaceful country.” A 14-year-old boy explained it this way: “We’re fighting because, because, uh, Afghanistan attacked us so we started attacking there. And then, we were trying to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.” Another 12-year-old girl suggested the war in Iraq was started “to give the Iraqis freedom and because Saddam Hussein brought terrorists onto our Trade Centers.”

When I hear these comments, I wonder again, what happens next? What does it mean for these children to link September 11 and the war in Iraq? What other acts of aggression are to be linked forever in their minds? Who else will they add to the “axis of evil”? However, none of the children in this study voiced hatred toward any specific group. Overwhelmingly, when asked about terrorists in another part of the interview, these same children said terrorists could look like anybody, that terrorists are defined by what they do, not what they look like. Many of them also expressed concerns during other parts of the interview about what was happening in Iraq and Afghanistan. Furthermore, a few of the adolescents were not afraid to question U.S. policy, exhibiting an emerging cynicism that I believe is necessary for a healthy democracy. As one 12-year-old boy puts it: “Bush said he’s got a war on terrorism . . . to make people feel safer. But really, he’s not making it safer. He’s making it more likely that we’ll be attacked.”

My sincerest hope is that this study gave the participating children an opportunity to express their feelings and to begin thinking about what growing up in the shadow of September 11 will mean for them. Today’s dialogue actually began months ago with sixty children from northeast Ohio, many of whom will forever remember exactly where they were “when the planes crashed into the buildings.”


1. Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, “American Psyche Reeling from Terror Attacks,” in Survey Reports (Washington, D.C.: Pew Research Center, September 19, 2001),, retrieved March 28, 2003); William E. Schlenger et al., “Psychological Reactions to Terrorist Attacks: Findings from the National Study of Americans’ Reactions to September 11,” Journal of the American Medical Association 288, no. 5 (2002): 581; and Mark A. Schuster et al., “A national survey of Stress Reactions after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks,” New England Journal of Medicine 345, no. 20 (2001): 1507.

2. Pew Research Center, “American Psyche Reeling”; Schlenger et al., “Psychological Reactions,” 582; and Schuster et al., “National Survey of Stress Reactions,” 1507.

3. Schuster et al., “National Survey of Stress Reactions,” 1510.

4. Schlenger et al., “Psychological Reactions,” 586.

5. Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, “One Year Later: New Yorkers More Troubled, Washingtonians More on Edge,” in Survey Reports (Washington, D.C.: Pew Research Center, September 5, 2002).

6. Pew Research Center, “American Psyche Reeling”; and Schuster et al., “National Survey of Stress Reactions,” 1510.

7. Conway F. Saylor et al., “Media Exposure to September 11: Elementary School Students’ Experiences and Posttraumatic Symptoms,” American Behavioral Scientist 46, no. 12 (2003): 1629.

8. Pew Research Center, “American Psyche Reeling”; and Schuster et al., “National Survey of Stress Reactions,” 1510.

9. Robin Hall, “How children think and feel about war and peace: An Australian study,” Journal of Peace Research 30, no. 2 (1993): 191.

10. Pew Research Center, “American Psyche Reeling.”

11. Schuster et al., “National Survey of Stress Reactions,” 1508–9.

12. Pew Research Center, “One Year Later.”

13. Pew Research Center, “American Psyche Reeling;” and Schuster et al., “National Survey of Stress Reactions,” 1510.

14. Chris L. Coryn, James M. Beale, and Krista M. Myers, “Response to September 11: Anxiety, Patriotism, and Prejudice in the Aftermath of Terror,” Current Research in Social Psychology 9, no. 12 (2004): 175.

15. Pew Research Center, “One Year Later.”

16. Jodie Kliman and Roxana Llerena-Quinn, “Dehumanizing and Rehumanizing Responses to September 11,” Journal of Systemic Therapies 21, no. 3 (2002): 11; and Vamik Volkan, “September 11 and Societal Regression,” Group Analysis 35, no. 4 (2002): 458.