Elegy for Sept. 11

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt immediately recognized Dec. 7, 1941, as "a date which will live in infamy." The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was as sudden and shocking then as the sight of hijacked passenger planes rocketing into New York's World Trade Center's twin towers was to Americans three years ago.

Sept. 11, 2001, is more immediate to us. We've seen it happen over and over again on TV. Incredulous at first that such a despicable act could happen, especially on American territory, we became angry and are angry still. The anger is earned.

More than 3,000 of our innocent countrymen and women were killed. And we now live with color-coded danger alerts, stringent security and intrusions into our privacy. For now, most of us are willing to trade some freedom for a little more security.

Statistically true or not, the world seems a more dangerous place since Sept. 11.

A new Associated Press poll finds that memories of Sept. 11 remain vivid to the overwhelming majority of Americans. We are worried about flying and about another terrorist attack. The future has become more complicated and less innocent.

Sept. 11 can never again be just another day.

The recent murders of hundreds at a school in Russia demonstrate anew that there are other human beings who spit on rather than revere life.

America lost another measure of innocence on Sept. 11, innocence that can never be reclaimed. But it can and must be replaced by an enlightened resolve to overcome the ignorance and barbarism that wounded us so deeply that September day.

--Nevada Daily Mail