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Something to remember

It's been three years since the infamous, searing morning — of Sept. 11, 2001. The shock has worn off for most of us. The incredible — bond we shared from coast to coast has eroded into an intensely bitter, — partisan election. The unity of finding Osama bin Laden and crushing al-Qaida — has been replaced with terrific division over making Saddam Hussein the — target, and the loss of 1,000 more American lives.

We can't forget those immediate days following that Autumn — tragedy. We can't forget the heroism of that day.

Our editor, Andrew Scot Bolsinger, then working just 90 — minutes or so from the Pentagon, wrote about the event saying:

"Soon, a name will be given to a single day so shocking — that, for now at least, it defies naming.

World Trade Center Attack? No, that was just the opening — chapter.

Airline Terrorism? Does nothing to describe the heart-wrenching — deaths of New York firefighters coming to the rescue of others.

Throughout the day, news anchors compared Tuesday's horror — - played out live before a nation's astonished eyes - to Pearl Harbor — as perhaps the greatest attack on American soil.

The very scope of it all - four hijacked commercial airplanes — crashing throughout the East Coast, dive-bombing the Pentagon, destroying — both towers of the World Trade Center, crashing into the country's heartland — - defies a name.

Evil does that. It transcends our capacity to imagine, — much less name.

Fifty years from now we will remember where we were and — what we saw when this disaster took place. By then, whatever name sticks — to label this American nightmare will be remote history to the next generation.

It will be in the history books. Other generations won't — grasp the terror, because by then, evil will probably find even more horrible — ways to display itself.

But I doubt we will forget.

We won't forget the surreal images of towering infernos — with no sign of the absolute horror taking place inside and on the streets — below.

We won't forget the empty feeling in our stomachs, as — we struggled to comprehend the staggering reality of the thousands of — lives struck down.

The evil of this day has seared a nation's soul. But history — also teaches us that it will not crush our resolve. For a day, one tragic — horrible day, America was brought to a standstill.

In the days to come, Americans everywhere will unite with — a resolve to thwart this evil and others in the world like it.

This event will soon be named. When it is, let's hope — it stands for the country at its best in the times of tragedy.

Three years later much has changed. The name, simply "9/11," — is now a part of our collective vocabulary. But our national resolve has — faded into muddled missions of war around the world.

The worst of times brought out the best in Americans. — What we have done in the three years since that time is less than heroic. — 9/11 isn't a cheap stage for political gain. It isn't a call to dominate — the world with American might. It isn't a thing to instill fear and blind — submission to our leadership.

9/11 was a tragedy, the seriousness of which should never — be cheapened. Defending the truth of that day is far more important than — ever using it to achieve one's political goals.