No words can describe the horrific carnage that hit the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon, across the Potomac from Washington, D.C., yesterday morning.
“Surreal” perhaps comes the closest.
It played out like a plot from a Tom Clancy novel, or the climax of a Hollywood action thriller starring Steven Seagal or Chuck Norris. But it wasn’t, of course. What unfolded is less than two hours—live on TV before millions of shocked viewers around the world—was very real.
Yes, we’ve seen these images before. The aftermath of a suicide bomber outside a crowded disco or restaurant in Israel, a deadly car bomb in Northern Ireland, a gaping hole in a U.S. warship in the Persian Gulf.
True, we’ve also seen it on U.S. soil—in Oklahoma City and, ironically, at the World Trade Center—not too many years ago. But this time it’s different. This time, the damage and loss of live is incomprehensible. The audacity and callousness of those responsible unmatched.
And the apparent ease with which it was done frightening.
Mass terrorism has invaded all our lives, and our world will never be the same again. Nor should one think even for a moment that Canada, somehow, will be immune. We’re not.
The war against terrorism scored a direct hit home yesterday. Sadly, it’s equally clear a long and bloody battle has only just begun. In the meantime, though, we must not let fear change our lives or destroy our cherished freedoms.
That’s the only way terrorists can win.