From the president's op-ed in the New York Daily News to the editorial page of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, columnists paused this morning to remember the eighth anniversary of the attacks. Here, a sampling of their reflections:
- Today, We Are All New Yorkers, President Obama wrote in the pages of the New York Daily News. "As President, my greatest responsibility is the security of the American people. It is the first thing I think about when I wake up in the morning. It's the last thing I think about when I go to sleep at night." He marked the anniversary as a National Day of Service and Remembrance. "On this day, and every day, it is incumbent on each of us to uphold those ideals that our enemies were - and are - so eager to destroy."
- Thoughts From Generation 9/11. Peggy Noonan presents a collection of recollections from young adults who experienced their "first moment of historical consciousness" on September 11. "They've been marked by 9/11 more than they know. It was their first
moment of historical consciousness. Before that day, they didn't know
what history was; after that day, they knew they were in it," she writes. Juliete, a 20-year-old, on the day of the attacks:
What I had is a sense that it was going to be one of those days of which 30 years down the road, people would ask me, What were you doing on that day, where were you on 9/11?--that my children would ask me. And so I set myself to remembering the details.
- The City That Wouldn't Die, N.R. Kleinfeld writes admiringly in The New York Times. "New Yorkers were introduced that day to irreducible presumptions about their wounded city that many believed would harden and become chiseled into the event's enduring legacy." But it didn't happen.
On Sept. 11, American Express had its headquarters at the southwest corner of West and Vesey Streets. It is still there. Since then, Verizon has settled its headquarters into the northeast corner. Goldman Sachs has assumed the northwest. All that's missing is the southeast corner. That will be filled by the tallest building in America.
- Remember the Heroes of Flight 93, says the editorial board of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "This year, Pennsylvanians have reason to look forward to the 10th anniversary in 2011, when a permanent memorial should be completed to the citizens who, in their most vulnerable, final moments, acted on behalf of others."
- Finish the Memorial. Please, The New York Times editorial board urges. "It is tragic that on this Sept. 11, when family members, politicians and visitors go to the ceremonies at ground zero, they will be gathering at an unfinished place."
- We've Betrayed the Memory of the Dead, says Ralph Peters at the New York Post:
Instead of acknowledging that radical Islam is the problem, we elected a president who blames America, whose idea of freedom is the right for women to suffer in silence behind a veil -- and who counts among his mentors and friends those who damn our country or believe that our own government staged the tragedy of September 11, 2001.
- Still a Living Nightmare, says Alissa Torres at Salon. Her husband died in the World Trade Center eight years ago:
For the past eight years, I've had a recurring dream about my husband, Eddie Torres. It starts the same way: We kiss, we murmur how much we miss each other, how much we love each other. "Why can't we be together like this all the time?" I ask, but he says nothing. In his silence, my joy turns to anger, which turns to rage. "You've never even met our son!" I scream.
- Arabs, Not Afghans, Attacked the United States, says Fouad Ajami at The Wall Street Journal. "A policy that falls back on 9/11 must proceed from a correct reading of the wellsprings of Islamist radicalism. The impulse that took America from Kabul to Baghdad had been on the mark. Those were not Afghans who had struck American soil on 9/11. They were Arabs."
- Van Jones, The 9/11 Truther, Charles Krauthammer reminds his readers about liberal extremists in the pages of The Washington Post.
You can't sign a petition demanding not one but four investigations of the charge that the Bush administration deliberately allowed Sept. 11, 2001 -- i.e., collaborated in the worst massacre ever perpetrated on American soil -- and be permitted in polite society, let alone have a high-level job in the White House.