Ten years after 9/11, views differ on war on terrorism

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Incarnate Word Academy/St. Louis, Mo.
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Jeff Frey stands at the corner of Providence and Broadway on Wednesday afternoon, urging drivers to support an end to war in the Middle East. He and others can be found there most Wednesdays from 4:50 to 5:30 p.m.
Photo by Michelle Kanaar/MUJW

COLUMBIA — The Sept. 11 terrorist attacks shocked the country into a war on terrorism, but almost 10 years later, many Americans are left wondering how much longer this war is going to last.

After Americans witnessed the demolition of the Twin Towers, emotions were running high. A violent response to the attackers was on many minds, including that of then-President George W. Bush, who initiated the global war on terrorism soon after.

Some Columbia residents, however, said they think the country should never have gone to war.

Every Wednesday, people who strive for world peace gather on the corner of Broadway and Providence Road for an hour, holding signs with slogans such as “End the endless war” and “Honk for peace.”

“There shouldn’t be any wars because there’s really no threat,” said Sean Matticker, 25, who attended the peace gathering.

“Cutting the military budget would be the appropriate

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thing to do,” he said, describing the wars as a “waste of resources.”

The amount of money spent on the wars may have a significant influence on the public’s opinion of whether the fighting is necessary. Defense officials have reported that the U.S. has spent more than $1

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Donald Briggs, post commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Columbia, has a different point of view. He said he thinks only the older, more experienced military troops should be sent overseas.

“A lot of people have no idea what it’s like to shoot someone,” he said. “They had no idea what they were getting into.”

Briggs said he dislikes war: “All it is, is killing.”

Other residents said they disagree with the government’s wartime methods, particularly the assassination of Osama bin Laden.

Zach Rubin, a representative from Mid-Missouri Peaceworks, said he thinks the country should have followed its own laws and captured him instead.

“Everyone should have the right to defend themselves in court,” Rubin said.

Care Francis, a 21-year-old MU student, also attended the peace gathering.

“I really believe in peace, and what we’re doing over there

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She said she thinks money spent on the wars should be redirected toward more important things, such as education and healthcare.

Still, there are others who think the U.S. should, as Matticker described it, “declare victory and come home.”