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Have we forgotten lessons, sacrifices of 9/11?

Ask any of the remaining World War II generation how they feel about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on the morning of Dec. 7, 1941, and we can all but guarantee you the response you’ll get will be an emotional one — nearly 78 years after the fact.

With freedom on the line, everyone pitched in to win the war against the Axis powers. It took four years, more than 400,000 battle deaths, untold numbers of victory gardens, aluminum and tin collections and war bond drives, but the United States and its allies prevailed.

The date, indeed, has lived in infamy as it is still marked each year in thousands of communities across the country. Although the term defining moment is overused in the age of social media, historians agree Pearl Harbor was a defining moment in this nation’s history. We beat Hitler and Tojo and made the world safe for democracy, until the Vietnam War came around and America was forced to confront its own inadequacies.

Flash forward to Sept. 11, 2001, 18 years ago today and history dispenses another defining moment. Our freedom wasn’t threatened like it was by Pearl Harbor but certainly our security was. Many thousands of Americans died that day, victims of mad international terrorism. Thousands more in uniform have died in the wars that followed and continue to this day.

In the wake of 9/11, the country pulled together — for a time — and Democrats and Republicans found reason to cooperate.

For a time.

Now, of course, Democrats and Republicans are at each others throats with no quarter given and none expected. The only thing that matters is winning — period.

For people of a certain age, 9/11 should hold the same type of symbolism that Pearl Harbor does for an earlier generation. Unfortunately, though, many of us seem to have moved on to a different place and the sacrifices of 9-11 have faded. We hope that’s not the case for most Americans.

We believe that 9/11 should have taught us we are all one people, all colors, all religions, everyone. Why have we forgotten that simple fact?