Brief Reflections on 9/11 - One Year Later



The images could not have been more shattering, and the impact of the horrific event will be felt for decades. Other tragedies and bizarre massacres have occurred, but only this one has left its indelible finger print on the heart and soul of a nation. Pearl Harbor had formerly occupied the summit of singular national catastrophes permanently burned into the collective memory of our people, but that has now been displaced. For this one has given us a new day of infamy.

And it was different, as well, for this was a different enemy. The moral abyss into which they have fallen is more cavernous; deeper even than those totalitarianisms that erupted like malignant growths across the globe in the thirties; for they have hitched their psychopathologies to a world religion and taken it hostage; they perform their butchery with religious zeal, as if savage murder were sacred. Now, also, there is technology, and the technology of killing is a sophisticated science. The efforts of our enemies to obtain such technology should give even the most ardent pacifists pause before urging restraint. The events of 9/11 may, in hindsight, be seen as mere prelude to the next great calamity - one that could bring the nation to its knees. For this enemy draws no distinctions; its limitations are strictly technical, not moral, and had they the wherewithal, they would just as eagerly have disposed of an entire city. Unlike previous foes, this enemy has no fixed assets; belongs to no single nation; provides no suitable target to exact revenge and thereby deter. They are shadows and apparitions, swimming amidst us, seeking advantage in our tolerance and freedoms, even as they endeavor to harm us. One shudders at the possibilities, the horror of nuclear blackmail and holocaust...

The greatest impact of 9/11 was the moral clarity those crashing towers gave us; the ability to see finally and with umistakeable transparency that there is evil in the world, that this generation's evil emanates from a particular source, has a name - and must be destroyed. We have, also, recognized that ours is a goodly and righteous nation, our democratic system benevolent and moral - and worthy of spirited defense. In our prosperity and self indulgence, we had grown complacent - but are now galvanized to action. May we and our leaders remain resolute...


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