9/11 Five years later
Today marks 5 years since a major attack on the United States. Prior to 11 September 2001 fanatical followers of Islam were already at war with western culture and values in general and the United States in particular. However, before the horrific events of that day we were content to treat attacks as isolated blips on the radar. We didn't fully realize the enemy we faced. In the Navy we have a navigation term, CBDR that applies to the decade leading to the major attack. CBDR is an acronym meaning Constant Bearing Decreasing Range. Usually that refers to another vessel that is on a course to hit your ship. The Rules of the Road give guidance to both ships on what action to take to avoid a collision. Unfortunately, our nation's leaders did not have a set of rules which could have been followed in order to avoid the attack. On this anniversary there are services being held and speeches being given. That is all well and good, but there are things that shouldn't happen.
We should Never Forget!
Don't deny the attacks or buy into nutty conspiracy theories that advance the idea that 9/11 was an inside job. I could laugh at fools who argued that we never sent a man to the moon. This is not a laughing matter. I'm disgusted that some idiots are advancing these ideas but even more disgusted that a sizable portion of our population is dumb enough to buy into it.
Don't assign blame were it doesn't belong. Sure, examine events and learn from our past failures to ensure we aren't vulnerable to future attacks, but don't blame ourselves. Blame lies with the hijackers. Blame lies with the planners of the attacks. Blame lies with the preachers and leaders who foment hatred in their followers and teach that terrorism is an acceptable expression of their religion. Assigning blame to politicians for 9/11 is like excusing a rapist because a woman is wearing provocative clothing.
Lastly, don't forget the horror and anger you felt as that day unfolded. Properly channeled those feelings should remind us not to let it happen again.