Why and How to Remember September 11

by | Sep 20, 2003 | Terrorism

There are those who say that it is time to “move on” from the terrorist attacks of September 11. Others say that we must “never forget.” It is appropriate that we do not linger on the pain and loss of the attacks. We are a proud and resilient nation; we memorialize our triumphs, not our […]

There are those who say that it is time to “move on” from the terrorist attacks of September 11. Others say that we must “never forget.”

It is appropriate that we do not linger on the pain and loss of the attacks. We are a proud and resilient nation; we memorialize our triumphs, not our defeats. It is success and happiness that we should remember and celebrate; weakness and loss we can leave behind. Independence Day is a national holiday; Pearl Harbor Day is not.

But there is good reason to remember the attacks of Black Tuesday, to give that day a solemn acknowledgment.

To heal from such a wound, to rest in assurance that such an atrocity will never happen again, we must first see to it that we have defeated the enemy who dared strike such a blow. It is for this reason that we must not forget September 11, not yet: On this count, the greatest work is still before us.

America is still at war. The battles of Afghanistan and Iraq have not defeated Islamic fundamentalism nor the terrorist monsters it spawns. Nor will we reach victory over these enemies until we have struck at the heart of their power: in Iran first, and then in Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Pakistan. (Contrary to the President’s remarks last Sunday, Iraq and Afghanistan are not the front lines of the war.)

We should take this September 11–and every future September 11, while the threat of war on American soil still looms–as an opportunity to rededicate ourselves to the cause of American security. We should resolve, not only “never forget,” but “never again”–and then we should make good on that promise, waging war with all our might until the enemy that attacked us has been vanquished. At a time when our Administration claims to be doing everything in its power to prevent more attacks, and when many Americans are more worried about the economy than about terrorism, we must acknowledge that we have barely begun to wage that war–and if we are to live in safety, we must make sure that we begin it soon.

This is how to remember September 11: with solemn anger, but with resilience and fortitude; with the moral courage that comes from knowing that America is in the right; and with an unbreached resolve to defeat our enemies and once again live in a world of peace and security.

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