Like other dark days of our past, Sept. 11 will forever be etched in our minds. Too many dark days are there now. Collectively we sit in amazement and bewilderment, watching slow motion tragedy in a scene far too familiar. The pictures turn your stomach. The stories move your heart. And you realize, there are fathers and mothers behind those pictures of destruction.
Shock will be quickly followed by anger. Anger by rage. Rage by revenge. It's already begun in most quarters. A powerful nation - pray God the most powerful on earth - when angered cannot be ignored. We will surely seek our revenge though it seems unchristian to write those words. But our response should not be modest, it should shake the world like none other in our lifetime. It should send a signal so clear no one can ignore. These acts of terrorism will be met with the most powerful and committed force on the face of this earth. If life is a game - I subscribe to the comparison if not the reality - then the rules changed today. The "other side" in this deadly game just discarded all of the rules of a civilized society. And thus the world changes if but by a little.
I think of the World War II veterans who fought and suffered for this great nation. I can't help but wonder if they somehow feel frustrated today, somehow feel their efforts were in vain because peace remains fleeting if not impossible. Maybe peace simply comes in limited spurts measured in months and perhaps years.
Partisan politics evaporates in a wave of unity. Democrats and Republicans alike are now just Americans. Or so it should be. Because we're all scared. This is not supposed to happen on American soil. Our reaction - swift and sure - will determine if it ever happens again.
I noticed our newspaper office hastily pulled the American flag from a dusty corner and put it on patriotic display. Neighbors brought both tears and fears. All normal activities just simply halted. And somehow you sense that the world has just changed.