Jim Wright at Stonekettle explores the true legacy of 9/11 in the excerpt below. As a nation, we have responded to the tragedy like a man stricken with lung cancer who chooses to self-medicate with two packs of Marlboros, taken daily.
ÖSince 911, an entire generation has been born and grown to self-awareness. Those young Americans have never known their nation at peace.
They have never known a nation that is not divided Ö They have never had a single day where they werenít told to hate their neighbors and to report them if they donít seem patriotic enough Ö They have never lived a single day in a nation that wasnít bent to the terrible business of revenge.
They have never known a nation that didnít roil in fear and cringe in terror every single day Ö They have never flown on an airplane without having been treated like a criminal Ö They have never checked out a book from the library without having been subject to secret scrutiny.
They never sent an unmonitored email or made an unmonitored phone call Ö They have never lived in a house that isnít subject to unwarranted search Ö They have never had the right to redress or legal challenge when their name is placed on secret lists ó and in point of fact, they donít even have the right to know if their name is on that list at all.
They have never lived in a nation where they have the right to confront their accuser and demand proof of more than just suspicion Ö They have never lived without the threat, however unlikely, of being disappeared Ö They have never lived in a nation that didnít regard the torture of human beings as an acceptable option.
This new generation has lived under the shadow of those falling towers every single minute of every single day since the moment they were born.
The terrorists didnít do that to them.