The big question yesterday was "Do you remember where you were ten years ago today?" Well today, I have another question for you: "Do you remember how you felt on this day ten years ago?" 9/12/01--the day after. The day when the reality of what happened on 9/11 set in. The day when we figured out who was responsible for what had just happened--and the day we vowed as Americans to stick together to get through this.
So, do you remember how you felt a decade ago today? Were you angry? Were you among those who said "We need to fight them over there--so we don't have to fight them over here." Were you committed to doing whatever it takes to make sure that A) we find the people responsible for making this happen and either bringing them to justice or killing them and B) making sure that this never, ever happens again.
How does that compare to how you feel today? Are you still committed to tracking down all of those involved in the plot? Do you remain committed to eradicating terrorism and religious extremism wherever it might be breeding and creating a threat to the US? If polls are any indication--then probably not.
When did you lose that resolve? Was it after the first attacks in Afghanistan? Was it after the first dead soldiers were brought back home? Was it after we invaded Iraq? Was it after we captured Saddam Hussein? Was it after "Mission Accomplished"? Was it after we opened Guantanamo Bay? Was it after the Abu Graib prison pictures were released? Was it on the first anniversary of 9/11? The fifth anniversary? Was it after we elected a candidate who promised to bring the troops home in his first 90 days in office? Was it after we killed Osama Bin Laden?
I realize it is hard to remain committed to what has to be done--when it takes as long as this effort has. There were many in America who wanted the US to settle for peace with Japan right after victory in Europe just to end the fighting after more than four years. But President Truman knew that a job half-done in the Pacific would only lead to further problems--and American bloodshed--in the future.
77 soldiers were injured in a truck bombing in Afghanistan yesterday--further proof that the enemy is still out there. And the tensions of yesterday's memorial services was heightened by reports of terror suspects in the US with the intent to detonate similar devices in cities here. We didn't start this fight--but we sure as hell need to make sure we end it once and for all. If we owe the 2,752 killed on 9/11 and the more than 4000 US soldiers killed in the War on Terror anything--it would be to make their sacrifice worth it.