The Commonwealth Iconoclast

A site dedicated to covering issues relevant to the Commonwealth of Virginia, and nation at large, plus other interesting things too, as I see fit...

Monday, September 11, 2006

Remember 9/11/2001...

Remember 9/11/2001…

What have we learned?

Are we safer today?

Will be ever be completely safe?

Words of wisdom from 1932 may hold answers for today's challenge!

Since 9/11/2001 the world has changed and will never be quite the same again. For the first time in over a half century, an enemy of the American way of life struck at our homeland.

On this day, the Iconoclast joins millions of Americans and friends around the world in remembering those whose lives were lost or horribly changed on that terrible day five years ago.

Before that fateful date, most of us probably did not give much thought to the idea that any conceivable enemy in the world would be so bold as to directly strike at the American people... regular people... civilians... innocent people...

In recent days and in the days to come, perhaps thousands of scholars and assorted pundits will speak and write millions of words attempting to explain what it all means and what the future holds. No one really knows in detail what the future holds… except that the world has changed.

Pundits and politicians are fond of asking the question: “are we safer today?” Who really knows? Have we ever been completely safe? Will we ever be completely safe? Safe from what?

Respectively the answers are: nobody; no; probably not; and any and all threats...but mostly the threat of some faceless enemy.

Fact is: the world has always been a dangerous place. None of us are going to get off this spinning ball of confusion alive... at least in the flesh.

There is little to be gained by wrapping our houses in duct tape and stocking up our bomb shelters with MREs, cases of extra ammo and bottled water. Living in fear is not the answer.

Reasonable precautions yes; society-wide paranoia no!

So, it seems to me, while we are here on planet earth, and regardless of our nationality, political affiliations, ethnicities or religious beliefs, we should all make it our first priority to enjoy our lives, our friends our neighbors and try to make the world a little better place while we are here.

In fact, we Americans probably enjoy the highest degree of personal safety that any culture anywhere on the face of the earth has ever experienced during any time in history.

Can we do better? Perhaps. But it is not a good thing to go off the deep end with worry and suspicion of people who are different from us and who have different ideas.

Perhaps we should ponder the words of Franklin D. Roosevelt on the occasion of his First Inaugural Address in 1932 when he said “…the only thing we have to fear is fear itself – nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”

Nameless, unreasoning and unjustified terror... Do these words fit today's circumstances.

While the circumstances today are of course far different from 1932 (the Great Depression), the advice may still be good.

Let us as a civilization advance and not retreat into a mental cave of paranoia.


  • At 9/11/2006 11:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    We live in a brave new world where we have to be very smart to hold on to our humanity while keeping a pistol in our back pocket and not lashing out to shoot other innocent people. Does that make me a conservative or a practical liberal?

  • At 9/12/2006 12:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    But after today's media blitz, doesn't it just make you want to go out an bomb some strange people who don't talk American right?

  • At 9/12/2006 2:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Friends, I would urge you both to chill out. Me? Yep, 9/11 is a bummer. Too close to home. This was a bad day. I understnd the urge to bomb somebody. But that is kind of dumb dont you think. I dont really trust as much as i used to, but we have got to figgure out how to co-habit this world with people who may not see things exactly like I do. You know what i mean.


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