Seven years since history took a sharp left turn away from peace and prosperity and towards war and woe.
Any student of history knows that 9/11's roots go back to the feckless anti-terror efforts of the 90's, the unintended consequences of the 80's, the unaddressed aggressions of the 70's, the miscalculations of the 60's, and even back to the arbitrary map-drawing of the post- WWI Middle East.
An Iranian taxi driver told me last year that it goes back 2,500 years to Cyrus the Great's imprudent kindness to the Jews.
It goes back to the eternal conflict of good vs. evil and the perpetual efforts of evil men to seize and hold power by hijacking religions and exploiting innate prejudices. Fear and its offspring, Hate, taken to their worst possible conclusion.
Within nine months after 9/11, I visited all three sites. Those sights, sounds, and smells will never leave me. I have watched friends, family, colleagues, and neighbors enter and return from the front lines. I have watched a brother struggle within the intelligence community to keep our country safe.
Seven years and we have not been attacked again here. That's really something. That was unimaginable in the fall of 2001. That is a testament to the valiant and often unsung efforts of our fellow citizens who have taken an oath to protect us and to our elected leaders who have had to make the most difficult and unrewarding decisions.
I know our domestic safety could be shattered at any moment by a single lucky terrorists. It is something I dread. But I also believe it is important to give credit where credit is due.
Thank you all. Thank you to every single woman and man who has given of themselves to preserve our freedom. I grieve for every single American and Allied soldier and every innocent civilian killed or wounded by this epic and confounding struggle to bring more peace, stability, safety, and accountability to our mortal world.
God bless you all.
This is a slide show I made about my visits to the 9/11 sites.