The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


September 11, 2008

9/11: Pause and consider

At least three public 9/11 commemorations are planned today locally -- in Danville, Northumberland and at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, where a student organization has placed almost 3,000 flags in the ground in honor of the victims of the terrorist attacks in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Shanksville.

Acknowledging the tragic loss of so many lives is laudable. But, there may be an opportunity to consider more than the horror of a shattered illusion about our nation's security.

In the days after the attack, the skies were void of aircraft while federal officials tried to ensure that no similar attacks could take place.

The skies may have seemed like the only place of calm. People rushed out and bought bumper stickers and anything bearing the stars and stripes and colors of red, white and blue. From unspeakable horror came a tremendous outpouring of generosity. Americans set to work, to recover, to rebuild, to help in any way possible.

People also went about their business. To cease would have been a victory for the terrorists. Life went on. Charitable groups that had been besieged by gifts eventually saw donations settled back.

Before 9/11 few would have counted the Twin Towers among icons like the Statue of Liberty, Mount Rushmore or even the Golden Gate Bridge.

As we pause to remember the anniversary of the terrorist attacks, reflect on outpouring of generosity and sense of unity that flowed through the land in the wake and shock of Sept. 11, 2001.

The 9/11 anniversary might also be a good time to remember that America is the Land of the Free and the Brave.

We have been a nation of people who risked their lives not only for the safety of the homeland and for our compatriots but for the freedom of humankind. We have even fought one of our bloodiest wars against one another for those principles.

On this particular anniversary of 9/11, as we choose our leader for next four years, we Americans should consider which candidate will keep our country free and brave and unified.

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