7th Anniversary of 9/11 – Is the U.S. Safer?
Today is the 7th year anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States of America. It is important for all of us to remember what happened that day. 9/11 was a day that changed the world, and not for the better.
Has the United States, and other countries for that matter, learned enough from the lessons of that day? Have they been seriously implementing policies and procedures that mean they are safer now? Can any country in the world feel "safer" now? Is there really any such thing as safety from terrorism?
22 bipartisan leaders find that only limited progress has been made to prevent another major terrorist attack on U.S. soil: "We are still dangerously vulnerable."
By SPENCER S. HSU, Washington Post
WASHINGTON - Seven years after the Sept. 11 attacks, the federal government has made only limited progress toward preventing a catastrophic nuclear, biological or chemical attack on U.S. soil and combating the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction abroad, according to a report card to be issued today by 22 former U.S. officials.
"We can no longer afford to hope that our patchwork of programs and initiatives will naturally cohere into an effective whole," according to the report. "The United States cannot be safe working alone."
"The threat of a new major terrorist attack on the United States is still very real," Hamilton, Rudman and former Republican New Jersey Gov. Thomas Kean, chairman of the 9/11 Commission, wrote in the report's introduction.
I can't help but wonder what the heck George W. Bush was thinking (and I use that term loosely) when he made the decision to go after Saddam Hussein in Iraq – oh I mean the non-existent WMDs in Iraq – and not directly after those who are apparently responsible for the terrorist attacks of 9/11.
For most of us, weeks to months after 9/11 life went on. But, for those who lost loved ones to the criminal act of murder that day, no doubt, their lives will never be the same.
I am a Canadian and I wasn't directly affected by the 9/11 tragedy. It didn't claim the life of anyone I know or even happen in my country but the evil perpetrated that day must be remembered and in some small way taken personally by all of us. It was an affront to humanity on a larger scale.
It was a personal affront to the hopes, dreams, and lives of thousands of individuals, their friends, families and loved ones who all ended up being caught up in something that none of us could have ever imagined.
"I do not believe that sheer suffering teaches. If suffering alone taught, all the world would be wise, since everyone suffers. To suffering must be added mourning, understanding, patience, love, openness, and a willingness to remain vulnerable." -Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Freedom for all its value and with all the values that protect it, maintain it, and strive to enhance it, requires a willingness to not only remain vulnerable but to find strength and courage in what it means to live life in and through that vulnerability.
© A.J. Mahari, September 11, 2008 – All rights reserved.
Article excerpt above can be read at startribune.com
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