News & Updates
September 11, 2013
The world is still working through the consequences of the terrorist attacks that changed America.
Osama Bin Laden and many of his top lieutenants have been killed or captured. But the Al Queida and other terrorist organizations continues to be a threat.
We’ll have to deal with the networks. One of the ways to do that is to drain the swamp they live in. And that means dealing not only with the terrorists, but those who harbor terrorists. This will take a long, sustained effort. It will require the support of the American people as well as our friends and allies around the world.
-Donald Rumsfeld, Press Briefing, September 18, 2001
“Draining the swamp” has been arduous and costly. Thousands of American soldiers, and many more thousands of civilians, have been killed or wounded fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. As countries across North Africa and the Middle East attempt to free themselves from decades of tyranny, the U.S. is weighing the role it should play in these conflicts. The U.S. conducted airstrikes in Libya, has performed a diplomatic balancing act in Egypt, and is considering military intervention in Syria.
When I look out the window, I exhale a prayer of thanks for the color green, for my children’s safety, for the simple acts of faith like planting a garden that helped see us through another spring, another summer. And I inhale some kind of promise to protect my kids’ hopes and good intentions we began with in this country. Freedom of speech, the protection of diversity — these are the most important ingredients of American civil life and my own survival. If I ever took them for granted, I don’t know.
-Barbara Kingsolver, novelist
Americans have had to grapple with the balance fear and the need to feel safe with the desire to preserve the freedoms on which the country was founded. This has been reflected in the legislative struggles over the Patriot Act and the national dismay over revelations of systematic spying on citizens by the NSA.
You can be sure that the American spirit will prevail over this tragedy.
The new tower rising over the National September 11 Memorial in New York City perhaps best symbolizes the way Americans have responded to the 9/11 tragedy and its aftermath. Our spirit has prevailed and we have realized the best within us in our time of crisis.
We may have reached the end of innocence, but arrived at the beginning of wisdom.