In the aftermath of September 11th, Americans declared that “things will never be the same.” Ten years later, we have—in a number of respects—defied those predictions and reverted to pre-attack habits and attitudes.
Then, we awoke to the existence of evil in the world and acknowledged our dependence on the military to keep us secure. Now, with no big terror strikes against us for a decade, too many take our safety for granted and consider risky cuts in defense spending.
After 9/11, Americans briefly came together in a burst of patriotism, but now the political polarization and name-calling are worse than ever. It’s easy to blame Obama or Bush, the Tea Party or mainstream media, but the real fault lies with the public at large for losing the spirit of unity and gratitude to the military we should have retained from September 11th.