And while the mastermind of the attack, Osama Bin Laden, has been captured and killed, dealing with like-minded terrorists in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan is still an insidious challenge. The war in Iraq has ended but the peace there is still precarious, while the war in Afghanistan continues and relations with Pakistan falter.
But, as we commemorate the lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001, it is important to recall the acts of heroism we witnessed that day and the sense of patriotism and unity that enveloped our country in its aftermath.
One of the most salient lessons learned on that fateful day was how much our communities depend on firemen, policemen and other emergency-services personnel. Who can forget the televised images of firemen unflinchingly marching into those flaming towers to almost certain death, in the slim hope of rescuing a handful of the thousands trapped inside?
It is especially important to remember that fact as this election cycle's politicians grapple with tight budgets and some threaten to pull support from those very same dedicated personnel. As anyone who has survived a house fire, a car accident or a medical emergency knows, having professional emergency responders on call is priceless.
The other lesson, which some seem to have forgotten in the ensuing years, is the mutual pride and universal empathy we shared in the weeks spent cleaning up the rubble and trying to settle on a reasonable course forward in this uncertain world. For a short time in the fall of 2001, partisanship dissolved.
After the recent barrage of convention rhetoric, it seems our nation has forgotten how to work together. Perhaps if we try to recapture some of the spirit that pervaded Park City after 9/11 and leading up to the Olympics, we can recapture a bit of that mutual respect and sense of common purpose.
Please take a moment on Tuesday to reflect on America's finer moments in those dark days and rekindle that spirit. We will need that inspiration in order to make the best possible choices in November.