Will we have the resolve to keep up fight on terror?
Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 17, 2003
There is no question in the minds of peace-loving people around the world what will dominate our minds as we begin to look back over the past year. That, of course, will be the tragic events of Sept. 11.
For our generation, it is the Pearl Harbor, the Kennedy assassination, the moment in time when one day our children and grandchildren will ask, “Where were you on Sept. 11?”
And we will tell them. For me, it was my office, safe and secure in Flowood, unlike the thousands of innocent men and women who mistakenly thought they too were safe in their offices, in one of the towers in New York or the Pentagon outside Washington, D.C., like the hundreds of people who were routinely flying to one destination or another, like those firemen and police officers who in minutes were thrust into the largest rescue operation our nation has ever undertaken, and in the next second in need of rescuing themselves.
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Prior to Sept. 11, ask a child what they wanted to be, and first and second responses, just above astronaut, was always policeman or fireman. Ask them now, and astronaut doesn’t get a mention.
In Wal-Mart shopping for an angel from the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree, I passed this big box with clear cellophane across the front that revealed a play-set full of policemen, firemen, construction workers and mechanics. A few months ago, that would have been just a cool thing for a kid to have. Now, grown men and women walk by, see it and stop.
Everything is a reminder.
Everything makes us take notice.
But of what are we taking notice? The horrific events, the death, the destruction, the pain, the anguish? Are we also taking notice of the suicide bombers in Israel that blow themselves to hell and back in the middle of crowded malls and town squares, maiming and killing innocent people? Are we taking notice of government protesters, strapped with explosives, storming Argentina’s parliament in an attempt to murder government leaders?
Earlier this month, we as a nation marked the 60th anniversary of Japan’s bombing of Pearl Harbor and our nation’s resolve to pick itself up and move ahead, determined to be the world’s brightest beacon of freedom and democracy, no matter the blows we were dealt that fateful day.
In 1941, innocent men and women were slain in a cowardly act as part of a greater war, a war they had seen fit to stay out of until that point. Enter that war we did. And free nations – democratic nations&160;- found victory, working together, fighting terror and evil on lands other than their own, in an effort to protect their own.
On Sept. 11, innocent men and women were slain in a cowardly act as part of a greater war, a war we had seen fit to stay out of until that point. Enter that war we did. And free nations – democratic nations – found victory, working together, fighting terror and evil on lands other than their own, in an effort to protect their own.
The real test, however, will come in the future, when we as a nation decide whether or not to end this war with initial victory, or follow it through to fight against terrorism everywhere.
What we have learned looking back, the lives lost, all will be in vain if in the future we do not fight.
Sam R. Hall
is managing editor of The Democrat. He can be reached at (601) 445-3552 or by e-mail to