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September 10, 2006

Five Years Later: Frustration

We have learned the lessons of that day, have we not?

Sadly, my greatest fears from that day appear to be growing true; we are growing complacent, at a very fast rate. September 11th seems like a lifetime away to so many. Some believe that defense of our values is not what is going to save us, but an "acceptance" of the values of a group of extremists. Many foolishly believe that the attacks were part of a greater conspiracy including accountability for the events by the United States government. President Bush spoke of a long and hard war that would require great patience from the American people; already, there are restless grumblings that we should quit, and even loud calls from some like Cindy Sheehan and Michael Moore that we entirely pull out of this war.

In only five years, September 11th has gone from the most barbaric event in America's history to a mere footnote.

Sadly, a lot of this is political. Our fellow citizens are at great risk, but some who do not understand why war has been a neccessary evil would rather test these extremists and see if they would give up if we appear to give up. This is a bad logic; what war were we in when September 11th happened that caused this attack? If our defense only builds more terrorists, than where did the September 11th hijackers and al Qaeda come from?

President Bush has since won a second term, and Republicans have held Congress for over a decade. While there is more focus on the War in Iraq, a conflict which in reality has grown into a part of the War on Terror, many Democrats are ready to end the conflict to buy a few more votes.

There are also some who think that such an event could never happen again; I am sure that some existed on December 8th, 1941 as well. While a lot of credit can be given to Homeland Security and similar organizations in Britain and other countries, we cannot presume that we will catch every odd event. Only a few weeks ago, terrorists in Britain were mere days from accomplishing their goals again.

But with this frustration is hope. Even with the skeptics, there are plenty of people who recognize the threat. Our armed forces have stepped up to protect us. People have kept aware, without being paranoid. And despite what social libertarians say, the NSA and other intelligence organizations have been working hard to ensure our safety.

Life changed that day. Five years have passed. We must remain vigilent. I say this all not as a Republican, but as an American. The Red States and the Blue must bridge the gap on this issue, and include all the Purples as well. On this day, for this issue, let us leave behind politics. September 11th represents something far greater. Fear, fury, and frustration should not be a part of this flight that we call life; we must have the fortitude to stand up for freedom for all Americans and all mankind. If we do so, we'll be able uphold integrity and the value of life in another five years, and five years after that, and so on.

Never, Ever, Forget.