The events which unfolded over the course of yesterday will no doubt come to occupy a select and infamous spot in the annals of history.
The terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon knocked the wind out of this country in a way the most grandiose news stories of the past decade could not have begun to do.
This wasn’t O.J. and his celebrity.
This wasn’t the tragic but small scale Columbine.
This was an attack of such magnitude that one must look back fifty years to Pearl Harbor to find a comparably terrible partner.
And looking back to the aftermath of Pearl Harbor, this event may change the texture of the American social fabric.
After Pearl Harbor, the people of our nation – people of all ages, races and religions – united to fight and defeat a common enemy in the Axis Powers.
But our generation, and the generation before ours, have often been criticized for lacking momentum. We’ve had no World War II like our grandparents. We’ve had no Vietnam like our mothers and fathers. We’ve lived our lives in relative safety, and with confidence that our safety was a constant.
Today, that confidence is shaken.
Yesterday’s attacks may have been extensive enough, may have cut deeply enough into our nation’s collective psyche, that our nation’s social culture will be forever changed.
This is a paradigm shift.
It has often been said that to restore American community to its brilliant heyday would require a truly catastrophic event – to say that yesterday’s attack could be that event would be a terrible understatement.
America will unite behind the aggressors responsible for yesterday’s attacks, and the nation will be stronger because of it.