I don’t remember exactly what I was doing five years ago today. I know it was a Monday and I know I was working in an office building three blocks from The White House. I’m pretty sure I remember the weather was the same as the forecast would be for the next day: blue skies, warm sun, beautiful early-fall day on the East Coast. And I think the concern on most people’s minds that day in the DC Chattering Class — did Gary Condit really kill Chandra Levy?
What I do remember is that the world I lived in on Monday, September 10, 2001 would never be the same. Unfortunately, many Americans and many citizens in the West are still living in that world. They have not yet, after five years, contemplated how our world has dramatically changed and how again, as before in our nation’s past, America must be the leader to protect freedom and democracy and stop the spread of hate and tyranny.
On the eve of the Fifth Anniversary of the September 11th attacks, I would like to again shine a light on those “September 10th Americans” and ask you to consider where you stand and whose side in this war are you on? The Islamic terrorists have no doubts….do you?
From the column “Are You A September 10 American” by Lawrence Kaplan….
When September 11 Americans look back at the attacks, they see an event that requires an overhaul of national priorities. When September 10 Americans look back at the attacks, they see an event whose significance is emotional, even spiritual, but most of all historical. What they do not see is the opening salvo of a years-long struggle, much less its implications for politics and policy.
For this disconnect between sorrow and action, some have blamed the media’s gaudy sentimentality. (An “emotional bath” is what NBC’s Tom Brokaw promised us for last year’s September 11 commemoration.) Others have blamed the president for urging too little in the way of sacrifice, for exhorting us in the days after September 11 to “get down to Disney World in Florida” and to “enjoy life.” Whoever is to blame, this much is evident: What Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge calls “the new normalcy” resembles for most Americans nothing so much as the old normalcy.
That most of us have resumed living by September 10 rules would hardly matter but for the inconvenient fact that America’s foes still play by September 11 rules. Alas, the conceit that the war on terror will not require broad sacrifice, which persists even when circumstances do not justify such a conceit, has obscured this unpleasant truth. Preventing a repeat of September 11 will be difficult enough. Even more so if an attack that should have prompted a special vigilance prompts only a glance backward.