September 14, 2001 11:00 pm


Time and life go on, but the calendar page for Sept. 11, 2001, cant be torn from our memories. Now that we know it can happen here, the whole nation grieves its loss of security.

This is what has been shattered: Our sense of immunity from cataclysmic evil.

Some will blame God for Tuesdays events. How could He not protect us from such evil? ...

This is a time for the nation to draw closer to God, a time to pray for the peace of New York City and Washington as well as the peace of Oklahoma City and Jerusalem and all the places where terrorism has struck fear into the hearts of good people.

(The editorial was adapted from one published April 21, 1995, two days after the Murrah Building bombing.)


The horrific terrorist attacks Tuesday in New York and Washington will rank as one of the greatest calamities in American history, and will confront the United States with one of its most demanding challenges. Not since Dec. 7, 1941, has the U.S. homeland sustained such an aggression. The nation responded then without panic but with iron determination to defend itself and punish the aggressors.

The response today must be as decisive to the mass murderers who planned and carried out the attack, and to any nation or nations that gave them shelter and encouragement.


Nationwide, people swarm blood banks, eager to have their own blood flow into the veins of those wounded by an unknown enemy. Let that enemy note that this nation of many peoples is often at odds within itself but under pressure is united; a blow against one is a blow against all.

For a generation of young people, this is their Pearl Harbor, their Kennedy assassination.

As we garner strength by joining together in rage and sorrow, the world will see that the great experiment e pluribus unum continues. One way it will continue will be for Americans to refrain from blaming groups for the evil acts of individuals. There must be no fingerpointing based on ethnicity or religion. If Americans turn on each other, those behind the heinous acts will be the winners.

Never again can this nation be quite so secure. Tuesday was a day that changed America.


REVENGE. Hold on to that thought. Go to bed thinking it. Wake up chanting it. Because nothing less than revenge is called for today. ...

We will demand nothing less than a full and deadly response. We have been merciful in the past with the terrorist thugs who have attacked this country. We have condemned them and imposed economic sanctions, but we have not hunted them down with murder in our eyes. Tuesdays attacks, however, amount to a declaration of war against the United States, a sneak attack even more devastating than the one on Pearl Harbor 50 years ago. At least the Japanese were honorable enough to attack a military target. This time, our enemies went after civilians, among them children.


Our carefree moments are over, buried in the gray dust that coated the onlookers on streets of lower Manhattan after the first of the days many tragedies.

And yet it would be dangerous to succumb in ways that would hearten the terrorists responsible for these acts. ...

The fear, like the shock, is abundantly sensible. But not if we as a nation let those be our destinations. That would please those whose cowardice expresses itself in the capture of commercial airliners and the targeting of American landmarks. ...

The point here must be justice, the principle that inexactly has guided this country throughout its history.

That justice may not be swift. It is important, though, that it be sure.

For those who on Tuesday took a part of Americas heart, there must be one uneasy assurance: Life is long. We are not finished. And it is they who must feel the terror.