Believe me, I would much rather write this column on local civic affairs or even the turmoil of state politics. I'd much rather recognize someone's dedication to a local event or point an accusing finger of blame at some state officials for a bureaucratic snafu. But like the conversation that dominates our lives this week, instead I focus on a changing world, a world not as safe today as it seemed just yesterday.
Soon we'll get about the process of living our lives again. Those lives will not be normal but we'll go through the motions because we must. And we should. Yet with every diversion there will remain that lingering feeling of dread and doom and fear. Those are normal emotions in such times, I am told.
"This conflict was begun on the timing and terms of others. it will end in a way and at an hour of our choosing." With those words, our President reaffirmed to the nation Friday just how strong our resolve remains. As the millions of flags that line every street begin to fade with time, our resolve must not fade. I will come back to that point time and time again. I fear our nature may well relegate this conflict to secondary status far too soon. If so, the events of the past week will surely be repeated. That much is assured.
Let there be no doubt here, our enemy is evil. Rest assured, our enemy believes us to be evil and will stop at nothing to rid the world of our way of life. They believe - wrongly I pray - that Americans are soft and lack the fire in our bellies to sustain the battle which will soon be waged. They believe we are weak. They believe we have far too many internal conflicts and social differences to focus our collective attention on this singular cause.
Our enemy is wrong. Soon to be dead wrong.
Some voices within this great nation have already begun discussing restraint. Some among us are urging a cautioned approach in a way of explaining if not justifying the actions of this past week. Those voices are wrong. It's a tribute to our system of government that these voices of dissent are allowed to be heard. But these voices will not prevail. The American public stands united in the belief that our duty and mission is to end the action of these terrorists for all eternity. And that is how it shall be.
Life in this country may soon resemble how I'm told it was during the Second World War. Then all conversations - both large and small - began with a recitation of the national events of the day and the progress of the war effort. Then a nation was focused and determined toward a common goal. I pray we have the same determination and focus today. Without those, the future of our children and their children is in grave doubt.