9/11: Scholars examine preparedness for the next generation of terrorist attacks

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:

Shelby Taylor, Digital/Communications Director
Bob Graham Center for Public Service
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
University of Florida
(p) 352-273-1086
(f) 352-846-1576
www.bobgrahamcenter.ufl.edu

 

10 Years Later: Is Our Nation Prepared?

10th Anniversary program with Sen. Bob Graham, J. Glenn Morris and UF Civic Scholars examine preparedness for the next generation of terrorist attacks

On the 10th Anniversary of the 9/11 attacks the Bob Graham Center for Public Service is hosting a special session looking at what many experts consider the real possibility of biological terrorism – the next generation of weapons of mass destruction – and the threat faced by Florida’s major cities.

Joining former Florida governor and U.S. Sen. Bob Graham for the discussion will be J. Glenn Morris, Jr., MD, Professor and Director of the Emerging Pathogens Institute at the University of Florida, and a few of the 70 Bob Graham Center students who spent the summer looking at county emergency preparedness plans against terrorism. The Bob Graham Center is a finalist for a National Day of Service and Remembrance Award, a special citation given to organizations that create public service projects that honor those who died and those who have served because of the tragedies of 9/11. The winner will be announced on Sept. 23, 2011.

The event, which is open to the public, will begin at 6 p.m. in Pugh Hall on Sept. 11, 2011. It will be a rare opportunity for both students and the public to engage with leading experts on both terrorism threats facing the United States and biological pathogens. Sen. Graham served for 10 years on the Senate Intelligence Committee, which he chaired during and after 9/11 leading up to the Iraq war. He was also chairman of the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism, established after the 9/11 attacks to assess the nation’s efforts to prevent weapons of mass destruction proliferation.

That commission reported in 2008 that it is “more likely than not” that a weapon of mass destruction — specifically a biological weapon—will be used in a terrorist attack by the end of 2013. The Bipartisan WMD Terrorism Research Center, co-founded by Sen. Graham, is currently in the midst of developing a report card that measures preparedness across the country.

In addition to the latest analysis on the federal level, a selected group of Bob Graham Center students will share their findings on preparedness for biological attacks at the county and municipal level for the state’s major regions.

The session also will feature audio recordings of individual experiences of those who are now in Gainesville recalling their personal 9/11 story in remembrance of that tragic day. The University of Florida’s Samuel Proctor Oral History Program is recording these two- to three-minute audio-only stories for this occasion. They will then be housed as part of the 9/11 Memorial in New York.

Following the presentation, attendees are invited to enjoy informal conversation, pizza and refreshments. The Bob Graham Center will also be collecting donations at this event for the HONOR Center, an organization helping support homeless veterans. Suggestions of donation items include: cleaning supplies, paper products, linens, and clothing.

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About The Bob Graham Center for Public Service: The Bob Graham Center for Public Service is a community of students, scholars and politically engaged citizens, devoted to enhanced citizenship; the training of current and future public and civic leaders who can identify problems and spearhead change; and the development of policy on issues of importance to Florida, the United States and the global community.