September 6, 2011
9/11 did not shake America’s spirit
The terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 left a mixed legacy in America. Even 10 years later what exactly that legacy is remains unclear. It is still obscured by the dust and debris kicked up from the collapsing World Trade Center towers. There is no neat thread to tie it all together.
Part of the legacy is pain, shock, fear, suffering, introspection, resolve and hope.
But one thing is clear: Our communities remain strong. Terrorists cannot destroy the bonds that tie neighbor to neighbor.
The past 10 years began with a shock of violence that left a profound emotional scar on our country’s psyche. The decade has seen America work through its initial fear, spend much in blood and treasure on two wars and evaluate its role in the world. It has also seen Americans engage in national introspection about who we are and what our most essential values are.
Fear prompted a rise in security measures largely unknown during peacetime in America. Some of these measures have proven valuable and worthwhile. Also, we have debated and continue to debate the value of other measures. But we have not let fear alone guide us.
Continued attempts to attack America have proven that appropriate vigilance is indeed needed.
The attacks of Sept. 11 prompted a nationwide focus on preparing for disasters of all sorts — manmade and natural ones. We are all safer today because of training and resources that were not widely available before 9/11.
As time has passed, the shock of 9/11 has ebbed for most of us. Life has returned to normal, even if the shadow of that day will always be with those of us who lived through it.
Terrorists might have been able to shut down air travel for a few days in our country, but they cannot break our communities, which are the backbone of America.