Humble musings from one who never claimed to be politically-minded...
9/11. The "tragedy" that has most directly affected my generation.
I don't consider 9/11 a "tragedy," and I think that defining the events of that day six years ago in such terms serves to weaken the nation's resolve against terrorism and radical Islam. Oedipus Rex is a tragedy. Hurricane Katrina's catastrophic effects on New Orleans were a tragedy. But the killing of Jews in WWII, the gunning down of innocent students at Virginia Tech, the collapse of buildings and the resulting deaths of nearly 3,000 Americans six years ago - these things I don't think of as tragedies. While they may fall into the category based on a modern definition of the word, for many the classical definition of the word "tragedy" conveys something brought about by one's own tragic flaw or by circumstances beyond human control. To call 9/11 a tragedy is to consider it unavoidable, driven by fate. It lessens the responsibility we as a nation can place on those who have perpetrated these crimes against humanity.
Today, six years later, it often seems that the war we are fighting is being won and lost at the same time. Military officials report progress and real results on the fronts where the war is being directly fought. Meanwhile, here in America there is an equally important battle: a battle for the minds of Americans. Our nation is attempting to defeat powerful forces of evil while many of our citizens are in opposition to the cause. There is a battle to convince these Americans that 9/11 was not a deserved response to Western capitalism or imperialism and to remind them that there are moral absolutes, that freedom of religion doesn't apply when the exercise of that religion involves the murder of thousands or the dehumanization of women.
In an odd way, our nation may have possessed more clarity six years ago than it does today. Time generally brings wisdom, but today we are more confused and many are more accepting of the evil that occured, while six year ago we recognized it for what it was. Six years ago our nation was filled with noble sentiments; in the time since 9/11 it has become en vogue for the media and others opposing the war on terror to attack the cause at its roots and shake the confidence of the American people. We are told from many sides that the cause is unjust, and further, our military is accused of war crimes. It is these stories that make the news far more often than our success stories.
Let's all take some time today to think of our military men and women. We should feel profound gratitude for the many sacrifices they make on our nation's behalf. They are doing all in their power to bring freedom and a chance for democracy to the Middle-East. Our men and women are in harm's way and the terrorists operating out of the Middle-East have made it abundantly clear just what they're willing to do for their beliefs. I pray America doesn't give up hers.