Leadership

9/11’s Legacy

Admiral Dennis Blair shares his perspective of the events surrounding 9/11.

Admiral Dennis Blair sitting in chair in an office

Admiral Dennis Blair shares his perspective of the events surrounding 9/11.

On Sept. 11, 2001, Commander in Chief of the U.S. Pacific Command Dennis Blair gave fighter pilots orders to shoot down commercial airplanes if they deviated from their flight plans and were threatening to crash into locations where they would take more lives than those on board.

Twenty years later, Blair shares his unique perspective on that tragic day and its aftermath with Carolina students, many of them born after 9/11. Blair, the 34-year Navy veteran who was President Barack Obama’s first director of national intelligence, is the University’s first Knott Distinguished Visiting Professor of the Practice in the peace, war and defense curriculum in the College of Arts & Sciences.

Reflecting on 9/11’s legacy days before the event’s 20th anniversary on Saturday, Blair pointed to the “disastrous results” of the wars on terror that the United States waged in Afghanistan and Iraq. And he said he is “haunted” by the missed opportunities to unify the U.S. following the terrorist attacks.

“We didn’t tap that sense of national unity and purpose in a way that could have brought the country together,” Blair said. “And since then, we’ve just seen the country grow further and further apart, with greater income, racial, ethnic and regional disparities.”

To read Blair’s entire Q&A, read the complete Carolina Story… Opens in new window

 

UNC College of Arts & Sciences Funding Priorities

Readers Also Viewed...

Ronit Freeman holds a coronavirus model
Health

Developing a Sweeter COVID-19 Test

Carolina researchers have designed a rapid sensing COVID-19 test using sugar to take advantage of the virus’s sweet tooth.

Whitmore looks out over the field site.
Environment

A Project of Her Own

PhD student Kriddie Whitmore’s research in the Andes

Candice Powell, the director of the Carolina Covenant.
Student Support

A Stronger Future

Candice Powell shares how the Carolina Covenant scholarship is changing lives.

Cliff Huang poses by the Old Well to commemorate the earning of his doctorate from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1968.
Alumni

A Blessed Life

Cliff Huang’s journey from Taiwan to Carolina.

Ashley Medina plays a flute outdoors at Carolina.
Military

A Call to Serve

With an older sister already in college and two younger siblings, Ashley Medina was excited to learn about the support for military families through the Red, White and Carolina Blue Challenge.

Blue Sky Scholar Gigi Cloney poses in front of the Old Well on Carolina's campus.
Student Support

‘Serendipitous’ Support

Support from the Blue Sky Scholars program arrived just when this public policy and German double major needed it.