9/11 must be no losing battle
Not so very long ago, when
asked, "Remember when," we remembered.
We remembered that nearly
3,000 people died on Sept. 11, 2001, when coordinated attacks by 19 al-Qaeda
terrorists drew blood on American soil.
We remembered the fear
inspired by the ability of this then-unknown enemy to reach so intimately into
We remembered the pride we
felt as we came together as a nation to volunteer, fight and pray for help and
healing, protection and patriotism.
Today, the question of "Remember
when" is now too often followed by, "Remember when, what?"
Testimony to this will ring
silently two days from now, on the anniversary of 9/11: Note the dearth of
events memorializing the hijacking of commercial planes by those who had the
intent of dying in order that they might kill others.
Perhaps, we might say, this
is the dissipating nature of tragic memory: Today's problems earn priority in
our lives, even to the point of assuming a degree of magnitude above the truly
Certainly, we do not pause on Dec. 7 as our grandparents did. And dates such as April 5 (when Richmond fell) or April 14 (when Lincoln was assassinated) resonate not at all with the general population.
Should 9/11 today be any
Yes, because to forget so
much, so soon, delegates to muffled history books -- books yet unwritten --
events that changed the course and future of our nation.
On Tuesday, the challenge before us will be to once more remember when -- and then to take this memory a step further, and remember why.