September 13, 2002
The day passed.
Wednesday, the one-year anniversary of Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, was a day dreaded by Americans more than any other in current generations’ memory.
National and statewide terrorism alerts were raised to their second-highest levels, in anticipation that someone somewhere would be foolish enough to try to make a statement.
Everywhere there were solemn ceremonies — necessary, but in the way funerals are necessary to share our emotions.
The uneasiness that has settled over a nation at war with a cowardly, faceless enemy — perhaps it can be called fear, but we don’t think so — culminated on one day.
The sun came up, and the sun set. No bombs went off, no terrorists attacked — at least, no more than what we have become accustomed to in a dangerous and unstable world.
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In fact, in the U.S. a prison inmate was convicted of mailing an envelope of headache powder he had labeled “anthrax.” In Italy, 15 people accused of collaborating with al-Qaida were arrested.
“Evil will fail,” the Rev. Bryan Cuthill prayed as evening fell on Sept. 11 in Carson City. “Righteousness and faith will prevail.”
Americans believe that to be true. They came together Wednesday to share their grief, but they also came together because they knew it would make them stronger. That’s been the message every one of the previous 365 days.
There is some relief the one-year anniversary has passed. Much healing was done, individually and as a nation. Patriotism and pride make for a powerful tonic — more powerful, we think, than the patriotism and anger that welled up in the days after Sept. 11.
A man wearing a shirt with an American flag summed up Wednesday simplest and best: “It’s a sad day, but we have to move on.”
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