- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 12, 2001

For the first time in a generation, America finds herself at war and war is the proper term. Once more, this country has been the target of a despicable attack by elements unconcerned with the niceties of civilized human conduct. But the coordinated assaults that began yesterday morning are, perhaps, even more cowardly than the attack 60 years ago at Pearl Harbor. That, at least, was a military installation and the attacking forces of the Empire of Japan did not use innocent civilians as their shield unlike those who yesterday hijacked four airliners and used them as missiles against targets in New York City and Washington.
According to reports, as many as 50,000 people may have been getting ready for the work day in the twin towers of the World Trade Center in downtown Manhattan when the first aircraft struck. Some 18 minutes later, a hijacked commercial airliner plummeted out of the sky, striking the second tower with concussive force. As the fire spread and secondary explosions rocked the structure, the buildings began to totter. First one and then the second tower toppled. The city was blanketed in debris and smoke. People desperate to get away jammed the streets.
Meanwhile, reports of secondary attacks began to quickly flood in. The Pentagon had been struck by another plane and was partially collapsed. There was supposedly a fire on the National Mall. A car bomb detonated near the State Department. Federal offices were cleared as pandemonium began to set in. F-14 fighters were reportedly in the air over Dulles International Airport, prepared to shoot down, if necessary, another apparently hijacked commercial jet headed toward Washington. Several other commercial flights remained unaccounted for and possibly en route to deliver yet more horror. One other large airliner was either shot down or crashed near the city of Pittsburgh.
The sense of security we once may have felt that we were safe from the brutality that is so often a part of life in other parts of the world has been lost forever. But the loss of the World Trade Center and the attack on the Pentagon are also symbolic. These landmark structures are symbols of America a repository of the power of a free people and thus objects of hate for those who despise the West and everything for which it stands.
The coming days will be hard ones for America, our leaders and for those who wish this country well. This attack has cost us. But it will cost those responsible more dearly than they may be capable of imagining. For, if Americans were disinterested or far removed from events in the Middle East and elsewhere and perhaps indifferent to the ideas and intentions of our enemies this will never be the case again. The "sleeping giant" feared by Adm. Yamamoto, architect of the surprise attack on the American fleet at Pearl Harbor, has been awakened. The events of Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001, will not be forgotten. And those responsible will be made to pay the price.


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