I didn't mark 9/11 yesterday, even though I'd met one of the TV techs who were killed -- murdered -- at the World Trade Center that terrible day.
On December 7, 1958, plenty of people remembered and there were indeed ceremonies, but it was not an occasion for requisite shows of patriotic fervor: a sneak attack led to a war and in the end, we got the perpetrators. We put an end to the threat. In that war, the stakes were the same, though the threat was more imminent and the price to defeat it was higher.
Reading Sefton Delmer's autobiographical books, Trail Sinister and Black Boomerang, is instructive as the young Briton grew up an enemy alien in WW I Germany, was repatriated in 1917 and educated in England, then returned to the Continent as a newsman to cover pre-Crash Weimar, the Spanish Civil War and the preparations for and beginning of WW II. Old resentments and insults poisoned Europe and the ashes of the First World War were the birthplace of the Second. The United States should not copy Europe in this regard. We should do as we have done: win the war and move on.
Remember the past. Honor its dead. Do not be ruled by it.
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