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Ten Years Later
The 9/11 Terrorist Attacks
Wednesday, September 7, 2011 • Posted September 7, 2011

It's almost inconceivable that it's been ten years. I remember so very well that Tuesday of the terror attacks on the United States. I remember how it was almost impossible to breathe, waiting for updates, trying to figure out what was happening, and what was going to happen next.In the hours, days and weeks that followed, planes disappeared from the sky overhead. People got quieter when the flag was presented. Moments of spontaneous prayer became more commonplace. People said "I love you," a lot more than they had before.In just a short time on September 11, the United States went from a country with wide-open arms, welcoming the "tired, poor, downtrodden,,," to a country suspicious of every person and all of their intentions. In the ten years since that day, many other things have also changed.We have overthrown the government of Iraq and fought a war on their soil. We have driven the Taliban out of Afghanistan, and are fighting an active war in that country against the return of Al Queda. We have executed Osama Bin Laden, and eradicated many of the key leadership figures in Al Queda.Spain suffered its own terror attacks, as did Britain. France struggled with its large Muslim population, delicately weighing the rights of the citizens with the fears of the extremists in their midst. In the U.S., we strengthened our southern border with Mexico, ignoring the more porous border with Canada. Ten years of trying to figure out why the attacks happened. Ten years of trying to separate the differences between Muslims and extremists. Ten years of growing apprehension when going through airport security. Ten years of losing people we knew and loved, and seeing no advances in our goals. Ten years of wondering what color the terror alert for the day was, and what that color even meant.We have stronger borders now than we did then. It is noteworthy that our southern border is much more secure from terrorist, if not from drug dealers and trafficers in human beings. Our northern border, as well as our coastal expanses, have heightened systems for identifying threats and for dealing with them. Rather than coordinated terrorist attacks, we find ourselves having to identify and diffuse the individual radicals... the lone bomber, if you will.As even this week's letters, and those from the last few weeks, will attest, we still have a great deal of suspicion and fear of all things Muslim. The letter writers have expressed their opinions, and this column is not an endorsement or indictment of any of the opinions that have been covered. We each have our own personal ideas, our own personal fears, and our own personal take. What we don't have is one anwer that will put our hearts and minds at ease. This year, September 11 falls on a Sunday. I think that's appropriate for the tenth anniversary. I think it gives us the opportunity to reflect spiritually on the many people who were lost that day, and on the many that have lost their lives since then. I think it is an appropriate time to celebrate the American strength of character and resilience that allowed us to come out of this experience with a desire to work together as a country. It's a time to honor each of the people on those planes, in those buildings, in the rescue services. It's time to remember that this was an attack on our lives; but, we have survived.Ten years later, America is fighting other battles that have little to do with those events on that clear Tuesday in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania. We have economic struggles that were already being set in motion prior to the attacks, and were only exacerbated by the resulting turmoil. We have civil strife based on differences in politics, and we make it personal. Let's remember how we came together ten years ago to be one country, one heart, one people. It's fitting that, ten years down the road, we become that one people once more.It’s all just my opinion.

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