Following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Americans were faced with difficult questions, like "How could this happen?" "Why did it happen?" and "Who is responsible?"
Some of these questions, specifically ones beginning with "why," still plague the American public, Barton Community College history instructor Linda McCaffery said. McCaffery hopes to bring some clarity to those looking for answers with a free public seminar from 2-4:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 22 in the Seminar Room, F-30 of the Fine Arts Building.
The history will be covered in about 30-40 minutes, followed by a showing of the documentary, "The Road to 9-11."
"After the 10th anniversary of 9-11 rolled around, many people were still as baffled as the day it happened," McCaffery said. "Why something happened is frequently more important than what happened, and often times things can be explained by looking into the past."
She isn’t talking about a few years, decades or even centuries ago. The world events leading to Sept. 11, 2001, start as early as 2350 B.C.
"Everyone was so shocked that day; it was like Pearl Harbor," McCaffery said. "The Japanese didn’t get up one morning and decide to bomb Pearl Harbor," she added. "That had been coming for 90 years."
The modern Arab world was created at the end of World War I, with the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire. "Osama bin Laden used to say constantly, ‘the humiliation of 1918,’" McCaffery said.
McCaffery said she hopes her guests walk away with a greater understanding of what happened and why, and an understanding of how the past is constantly affecting the present and the future.
There is no fee to attend. McCaffery said it’s important to keep the public informed and educated.
"I do these seminars as a public service," she said. "This is part of being a community college; our mission is to share our expertise."
She also chose Sunday because another event open to the public will be going on in the Fine Arts Building. The opening reception for the new exhibit at the Shafer Gallery, "Native Witness," will be held from 1-4 p.m. in the gallery. The exhibit focuses on Native American film and art.