With Osama bin Laden lying at the bottom of the Indian Ocean and the war in Afghanistan winding down, its time to put 9/11 in the same historical vault where December 7, 1941, November 22, 1963, July 7, 2005 and other dates of great national and world tragedy reside.
Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt may have declared that December 7, 1941 will be a date which will live on in infamy after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor but the 70th anniversary passed by last fall while the world continued to revolve.
We can expect a flood of remembrance next fall when the 50th anniversary of Pres. John
F. Kennedys assassination arrives, but it will be a this date in history recollection as opposed to a national outpouring of grief all over again.
We can look to England, where the July 7, 2005 terrorist attacks were met with the stiff upper lip and legendary British resolve that act as a model for how we and our American cousins should perceive September 11, 2001.
The dead are still mourned by their loved ones every day, just like the wounded still live with their injuries. Its the rest of us that seem to latch onto the anniversary, insisting on
reopening those wounds.
The beautiful memorial unveiled last year on the site of the World Trade Centre in New York should be the testament that remains, not the images endlessly repeated of the planes slamming into the towers and then their horrific collapse. The memorial sums up the loss and emptiness of the place, while also speaking to the determination of a city and a country to endure.
9/11 should always be remembered but as much as for what happened afterwards - two wars, hundreds of thousands dead, domestic surveillance, extraordinary rendition and Guantanimo Bay - as what happened on that day.