"Why didn't we see 9/11 coming?" was a question frequently asked in the aftermath of that terrorist attack. And the answer should be, because we forgot the attacks preceding that one, or brushed them off as inconsequential aberrations so we could get back to watching the stock market go up and obsess about Bill Clinton's pants coming down. By not remembering those earlier attacks, the reasons behind them and the intentions of the terrorists and those who trained and incited them, we put ourselves in further jeopardy.
Sept. 11 should not be remembered for maudlin, ghoulish and certainly not for nostalgic reasons. Unlike those other mostly forgotten or no longer observed dates, this one is key to defending ourselves from a future attack and further disasters. Not to remember 9/11, is to forget what brought it about. That can lead to a lowering of our guard and a false sense of security, the conditions that existed immediately prior to that awful day six years ago.
Indiana University history professor John Bodnar is asked in the Times story what might happen on Sept. 11 100 years from now. He replies, "It's conceivable that it could be virtually forgotten."
It might be forgotten - or relegated to a "Jeopardy" answer - but only if we win the war against Islamofascism. If we don't, 9/11 will stand as a day of infamy with consequences to humanity far worse than Dec. 7, 1941.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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