Message still true: We will unite in wake of tragedy

Published 4:00 am Sunday, September 11, 2022

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Editor’s note: this is a reprint of the original editorial published Sept. 12, 2001, in The Democrat.

Shock. Horror. Anger. Fear. Resolve. Compassion. America rode an emotional rollercoaster on Tuesday as terrorist attacks struck a deadly blow in New York City and Washington, D.C. The meticulously planned and coordinated attacks, carried out with hijacked airliners, leveled the World Trade Center towers in New York and left a gaping hole in the Pentagon — the building that until Tuesday symbolized the stronghold of our nation’s security.

After decades of relative peace in our nation, Americans were, as President Bush said, confronted with evil. Our comfort level was shaken, even as our president heralded the strength of our nation’s resolve.

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We reacted with shock, with compassion and with a renewed sense of vulnerability. But what happens over the course of the next several days will do more to strengthen the nation than any terrorist could imagine.

By late Tuesday investigators were only beginning to estimate the death toll. The number of dead is likely to climb into the thousands. And the scope of that tragedy is only just beginning to reach across our country.

As a nation, we will strengthen in our unity. We will donate blood; we will send clothes, food and water; we will mourn and console; we will comfort and pray.

We will support our president and military leaders as they seek out the culprits and mete out justice for this horrific attack. We will remain calm and supportive of each other. We will remember; we will learn from our tragedy; and we will emerge a stronger, more united America.

As President Bush said, our resolve has been tested.

There is only one answer: We will survive, and our democracy will thrive.