Monday, September 11, 2006

A "September 12th" Mentality

Today there will be a lot of September 11th tributes to the victims of the terrorist attacks. Articles will be written and TV programs will be produced honoring the victims. Remembering the tragic events of that day is extremely important. I hope that all the families hurt through the loss of a loved one find peace.

However, we as Americans have never been just "victims" and can not start acting like victims because of the attacks. People speak of the September 10th mentality, that is not understanding the threats in the world. The September 11th mentality is honoring the victims.

I say we should look instead at September 12th, 2001 the first full day after the attacks. What have be done to make sure events like this have will never occur again. What have we done to protect ourselves?

The American people are a people of action. Just understanding the threat, while vital, is not good enough. We must act to eliminate that threat.

So will September 12, 2001 be remembered as the first day of the campaign for victory or the start of a slow decline for the American Republic? What will school children learn in their classrooms 50 years from now about our response to this great challenge? The jury is still out on those questions.

We have responded well in some areas. The military invasion of Afghanistan was relatively successful. We have found success in protecting our airlines.

But the news is not all good. Not by a long shot. We have failed at border security. Iraq, right now, is a failure. We have failed at screening packages entering into our ports.

So today remember the horrible events of September 11th. But tomorrow, September 12th, let's get back to work.

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"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction"--Ronald Reagan