Today is, of course, September 11. Like most people, I have vivid memories of 9/11/2001. While that day retreats deeper into the past with each passing year, the mark it left upon us remains strong.
We should pause and remember the people who died and the people who did all they could to try to save those in danger. That day revealed the worst of humanity as well the best: those who would murder the innocent and those who would die to save others.
The event also changed how we see the world. America had faced war and terror before, but not something on that scale-not on our own soil. In some ways, we became a better people because of it. But, it made us a worse people in other ways. We are still sorting things out and will no doubt do so for a long time to come.
My own reflection on the event is that it should inspire us to be not just opponents of evil but also supporters of the good. That is, we should do more than simply try to wage war against those who would harm us. We should seek to make the world better by improving it. While I am realistic and know that we cannot expect everyone to love peace and virtue, we do have the power to shape the world-for good or for bad.
As 9/11 showed, people can chose what they will be. Some folks chose to murder the innocent. Others elect to protect life. Bush was quite right-9/11 and what followed was (and is) a moral struggle. But, this has always been the case. The history of the world is marked by this moral struggle.
I am no fanatic about this matter-I am not willing to do anything for my cause and I do not hold that the ends justify the means. But, I also am no fool about this and recognize that doing what is right can sometimes require harsh measures. But, these must be such that they serve the cause of right and not partisan need or a thirst for bloody vengeance.