Across the nation, public officials will strike somber poses and shed television-friendly tears and bow their blow-dried heads in memory of the victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks.
They'll hold hands, light candles, and pass around a plateful of platitudes: "Never forget," they'll intone. "Let's roll," they'll thunder. "God bless America," they'll warble in perfect harmony.
They'll assure us that they are committed to fighting terror and securing our borders and doing whatever it takes to protect the homeland from another horrific mass murder at the hands of freedom-hating fanatics. And then?
And then, from Washington state to Washington, D.C., they'll go back to work, roll up their sleeves, and spit on the graves of the 9/11 dead.
Your pious city councilwoman will return to the office to draft a resolution condemning the common-sense detention and deportation of Middle Eastern illegal aliens suspected of terrorism.
Your politically correct police chief will refuse to cooperate with federal authorities in criminal investigations of illegal visa overstayers and border-crossers and ship-jumpers.
Your pandering mayor will stealthily renew his policy of preventing city employees from reporting illegal aliens.
Your indignant local librarian will promote fear-mongering and misinformation about the Patriot Act.
Your regional Chamber of Commerce president will join forces with Canadian and Mexican government representatives to put business interests ahead of border enforcement.
Your tuition-thirsty university president will lobby behind closed doors against federal efforts to track foreign students and ensure that they go home when required.
Your race card-fearing congressman will court Arab and Muslim special interest groups and donors who have coddled Islamists on college campuses, in prisons, and in the U.S. military in the name of "diversity."
Your grandstanding senator will block funding for long-delayed homeland defense measures -- such as a national entry-exit system to monitor temporary foreign visitors -- even as he whines about the need for more money to ensure our safety.
Your incompetent Transportation Security Administration will stonewall pilots who want training to be armed, squander tens of millions of taxpayer dollars on lucrative contracts for weapons-detection equipment that doesn't work or get used, and continue to ban racial profiling.
Your indifferent Interior Department will look the other way as underequipped and understaffed park rangers along the southwestern border remain vulnerable to drug smugglers and terrorists.
Your bloated Homeland Security Department will keep Clinton-era holdovers in pivotal positions, reduce routine inspections at seaports in the name of efficiency, and continue to shortchange interior enforcement against deportation fugitives and asylum con artists in favor of duct tape tipsheets and cosmetic color-coded alerts.
Your corrupted State Department will appease Saudi terror-backers, reward butt-covering managers, assuage European travel industry tycoons, and continue to defend lax visa screening policies.
Your Democratic presidential candidates will unanimously endorse the very kind of amnesty policies that allowed several al Qaeda operatives to infiltrate this country and hatch terrorist plots.
And your Republican Party elites will continue to spurn immigration reformers within their own ranks for fear of alienating ethnic constituencies that will never vote for them anyway.
To those who lost their lives on Sept. 11 because their government failed to enforce its borders, laws, and sovereignty, the politicians and bureaucrats and civic leaders will ostentatiously offer one measly day a year of dedication in rhetoric -- and 364 days of desecration in deed.