This morning brings a crisp, slightly cool breeze and a cloudless sky to Washington, D.C., just as it did eleven years ago today. FDR said of December 7th, that it was a day that would live in infamy, and it has to a degree, although I wonder how many Americans still associate that date with its historic significance. But, “9/11” no longer refers to a date, but to an event, a searing event, and the nation’s reaction to that searing shows how different we are from the days of 1941.
In both instances, America was attacked and caught off-guard. In both instances, thousands of Americans died, 2,400 at Pearl Harbor, almost all of them military men, and some 3,000 in New York, Washington and Shanksville, almost all of them civilians and first-responders. In both instances, America went to war as a consequence of, and response to, the attack. There the similarities cease.