September 10 editorial |

September 10 editorial

Effects of 9/11 still permeate our lives and our politics

It appears there will be no formal event in Park City to mark tomorrow’s seventh anniversary of the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. In past years, local law enforcement officers and firefighters have organized well-attended ceremonies to honor the lives that were lost that day. This year, though, instead of taking time out to relive the horror of those events, most of us will go about our daily routines.

But that does not mean 9/11 has faded from our consciousness. Instead, memories of the day and its aftermath have morphed into a pervasive unease along with a compromised sense of safety and trust in the world around us. Though not articulated, 9/11 is never far from our thoughts.

The phrase "nine-eleven" needs no definition. It is now part of the national lexicon. Across the country it evokes the same powerful images — the incongruous juxtaposition of that perfect blue sky suddenly torn by one, then two jets, incomprehensibly slamming into the World Trade Center towers. Then there is the black smoke hovering over the Pentagon and those heart-rending cell phone calls from United Flight 93.

No we have not forgotten.

We are reminded every time we travel, which now requires at least an extra hour for cumbersome security inspections, and when we turn on the television news in the morning wondering if the world will be the same as we left it the night before.

The reverberations from 9/11 changed history. No longer invulnerable, the United States struck out against Afghanistan and then Iraq. And other new phrases entered our vocabulary homeland security, threat level, jihad.

And 9/11 still tops the political agenda. President George W. Bush’s legacy will be based in large part on how he handled foreign and domestic policy in the wake of that blatant attack on native soil. This season’s candidates are still arguing over where to draw the line between civil liberties and national security. Voters, no doubt, will judge the presidential candidates not only on their party platforms but, inevitably how they might handle a morning like the one we woke to on Sept. 11, 2001.

No, there will no be a ceremony this year, but we have not forgotten.

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