Have the terrorists won?

Ten years after the horrific events of 9/11, America braced for other possible attacks to mark the anniversary of the worst terrorist attack in history.  Phone calls from my mother outlined how authorities believed new terrorists were in the country, and how panel vans had been stolen.  She even called to tell me that they believed there was a dirty bomb involved.  In the end, there was nothing.

However, a mother’s reports of what she saw on CNN are only part of the story.  ABC news reports that law enforcement and military elements were scrambled for even more benign reasons.

Fighter planes were scrambled, bomb squads were called, FBI command centers went on alert and police teams raced to airports today, but in the end two separate airline incidents were caused by apparently innocent bathroom breaks and a little “making out,” federal officials said.

On that horrible day ten years ago, we were told that we must not change as a nation or else “the terrorists win”.  Well folks, I have to ask if they already have won.  The Patriot Act made it easier to spy on American citizens.  New similar laws are being created to combat crimes that haven’t needed that level of snooping before.

We now have vehement arguments over houses of worship being located in particular places as a result of that day.  Right or wrong, these arguments just didn’t happen pre-9/11.  They just didn’t.  No one seemed to care.

This nation has changed, and I honestly don’t think it’s for the better.  For a short time, it was.  On September 12, 2001, we looked at one another with new eyes.  Today, we’re more cynical than ever.  This nation has changed, and the terrorists changed us.  Maybe they didn’t get what they said they wanted, but we have changed because of them.  So, if we had to continue or else the terrorists would win, doesn’t that mean the terrorists won?

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