Today, we mark the ninth anniversary of the attack that changed our world.
Sept. 11, 2001, was a day as infamous as Dec. 7, 1941, and, in immediate consequences, even more deadly. At Pearl Harbor 2,300 died; at the World Trade Center towers in New York, the Pentagon and a lonely field in Pennsylvania, 3,000 were killed.
Pearl Harbor plunged us into World War II; Sept. 11 forced us into a "war on terror," which led us to war in Afghanistan.
Our goal was to end the Taliban rule there that harbored international terrorists and to seek out Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of global terrorism.
These two cowardly attacks on America may have been 60 years apart, but both drew the nation together instantly. Political labels faded to insignificance, Congress and the president worked together to fashion policies to deal with the aggression.
And, most of all, American troops responded with valor and sacrifice both to free a nearly enslaved people and at the same time assure the world that our shores would not be attacked again.
Flags sprouted from front yards and lapels, cars and trucks.
The civilized world -- soon to experience renewed terrorist attacks of its own -- expressed sympathy for our losses and joined in the cause of rooting out this evil corruption of a great religion.
For these were not mainstream Muslims -- these were the fanatics whose sympathies, actions and morality were of the 11th century.
They perverted the Quran, the Muslim Holy Book, which, from Adam to Abraham, includes similarities to Jewish and Christian Scriptures.
It is a solemn day for America. We mourn our dead. We cheer on our troops at home, in Afghanistan and still in Iraq.
We're grateful that Pastor Terry Jones, leader of a small Florida church, announced Thursday that he's canceling plans to burn copies of the Quran to mark the anniversary.
That act would have served only to increase the world's capacity for hate, and hate is where terrorists find nourishment.
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