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Last week, Americans marked the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks by remembering the 3,000 lives lost on that day. As was the case in the aftermath of the attacks, those reflecting on the national tragedy also emphasized and honored the sacrifices made by first responders and civilians alike. In national memory, the enduring moral, civic, and humanitarian lesson of 9/11 and how Americans responded to it largely revolves around the concept of shared, selfless sacrifice.

And yet, one can’t help but be struck by the apparent dissonance between how we evoke the importance of sacrifice when talking about the past and how we invoke the spirit of sacrifice today. From COVID-19 to climate change, in terms of casualties and disruption of everyday life, the US and the world face far deadlier threats today than those posed by military or terrorist forces. In this discussion, TRNN’s Jaisal Noor and Sam Sacks of Means TV ask: Will the US draw on that same spirit of shared sacrifice to address these threats? Sam Sacks hosts Means Morning News on Means TV and cohosts The District Sentinel podcast.

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Jaisal is currently the Democracy Initiative Manager at the Solutions Journalism Network and is a former TRNN host, producer, and reporter. He mainly grew up in the Baltimore area and studied modern history at the University of Maryland, College Park. Before joining TRNN, he contributed print, radio, and TV reports to Free Speech Radio News, Democracy Now! and The Indypendent. Jaisal's mother has taught in the Baltimore City Public School system for the past 25 years. Follow him on Twitter @jaisalnoor.