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Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016

America must react swiftly to terrorism

Thursday, September 13, 2001

As corny as it sounds perhaps, I'm certainly proud to be an American today. How people or countries react in the fact of adversity is a good indication of their character. By that measure, our nation is strong and determined and ready. It is now up to each of us, in our own personal way, to keep that resolve and let those in power understand we expect a swift, sure and appropriate response to the events of the week.

In the back of all thinking is the frightening prospect that the worst is yet to come. And for the first time in our nation's history, we must understand that American soil may become the battleground. That prospect alone is so very foreign to most Americans because we have no history on which to reflect. Wars do not happen in America. But that may have changed.

My greatest fear is that the American sense of urgency will evaporate before the appropriate actions are taken. That's why it is so important that we tell our Congressmen and others that we expect and demand action. Surgical strikes based on compassion are not enough. We must appreciate that these terrorists are our enemies and the countries who harbor them are our enemies as well. They need not be addressed. They need to be eliminated.

What we must expect and accept now is the potential that some of our freedoms may be restricted in the wake of these tragedies. That's a small price to pay and one that every American should be willing to accept. If our freedom of movement is somewhat restricted, then so be it. If our borders must be restricted, then so be it. Our compassion and open-door policy of the past has proven to come with a price. I, for one, am no longer willing to pay that price.

The news in the coming days will reveal that these terrorists had unencumbered freedom of movement here and they used that American policy to kill innocent people. We can no longer accept all of those who seek to call America home. We must demand accountability from all of those who seek to cross our borders. We must always welcome those who come here to be a part of the fabric of this great nation. But we must first be certain that their motives and their intentions are good. It will be a difficult task.

We have a golden opportunity born of tragedy. We have the ability and international support to wipe from the face of this earth those who would bring harm to others in the name of God. We have a moral imperative to do just that. It should begin today. And we know in our hearts how it will end.

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