“The pictures of airplanes flying into buildings, fires burning, huge structures collapsing, have filled us with disbelief, terrible sadness, and a quiet, unyielding anger. These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat. But they have failed; our country is strong. A great people has been moved to defend a great nation. Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shattered steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve.”
– President George W. Bush, September 11, 2001 Address to the Nation
In the past Republicans have been criticized by Democrats anytime they reminded the country of the attacks of September 11. It is not possible to honor the sacrifice of those who ran into the buildings when everyone else was running out, unless we remember, and remind the country, of what happened that day. It is important not only to remember those who lost their lives on that day, but to remember the kind of insanity and hatred that led the hijackers to murder.
“The people who did this to us are monsters; the people who cheered them have hate-sickened minds. One reason they can cheer is that they know we would never do to them what their heroes did to us, even though we could, a thousand times worse. They know that when we hunt down the monsters, we will try hard not to harm the innocent. Those are the handcuffs we willingly wear, because for all our flaws, we are a decent people.” — Dave Barry.
Whether criticized for it or not, I think it is also important that we remember what it felt like on that day. I was watching the Today Show and saw the second plane hit the tower in real time. I remember shock, disbelief, and sadness, but most of all a vulnerability that did not exist on September 10. That feeling stayed with me for quite some time. I had felt it to a much lesser extent when the WTC was bombed years earlier, but 9/11/01 was, obviously, on a level never before seen in our nation’s history. When I heard the announcement that the Pentagon had been hit as well, and then saw video of the gaping hole, my only thought was “we have been attacked and we are at war.”
That feeling has faded a good deal over the years since there have been no new attacks on our soil, but we must remember that there are still people in this world who would like nothing better than to see a repeat of 2001. President Bush said “these acts shattered steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve.” I fear the American resolve has been dented a bit. Hopefully taking time today to remember the events of September 11, 2001 will help firm up that resolve.
Over the past few years I have done several 9/11 tributes and memorials — the preceding two paragraphs were repeated from something I wrote last year on 9/11. Here are links to some of those posts: September 11, 2008, September 11, 2007, September 11, 2006
Update: Links to some of the 9/11 memorials post today: Radio Patriot, the Anchoress, Gerald Vanderleun, Bookworm Room, Don Surber, Blackfive, Noisy Room, Ace, Pierre LeGrand, Ed Morrisey, Uncle Jimbo , Melissa Clouthier and Spirit of America. Also be sure to read Allahpundit’s Twitter feed today (updated to a post on HotAir Green Room of all the entries) — the horror of the day told in 140 character bites. It is very powerful. Also don’t miss Chris Muir at Day by Day.
A commenter, Paul in Houston, pointed me to this column from Leonard Pitts from just after 9/11. It reminded me what I felt on that day.
Kevin adds: Don’t miss the 9/11 shows on History Channel, especially the one about Rick Rescorla. If you do you can get his incredible story here.