Editorial: Invoking John McCain on 9/11

The new World Trade Center in the Lower Manhattan skyline

By Jonathan Spira on 11 September 2018
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It’s 9/11 again, this year the 17th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Relatives of those who died in the attacks will gather in Lower Manhattan, at the Pentagon, and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, to commemorate the loss. Some relatives will wear or carry photographs of their loved ones. In Shanksville, visitors will walk through the Flight 93 National Memorial.

Names will be read. Flowers will be left. Mourners will embrace.

In 2015, President Obama said that it was time for the country to defend not only its territory, “but our ideals.”

In the interim, we have become a nation that separates children from their illegal immigrant parents, with a government that is apparently so wary of its leader that senior staff members at the White House feel compelled to thwart parts of President Trump’s agenda “and his worst inclinations,” as a recent Op-Ed piece in the New York Times by a high-ranking senior official in the White House put it.

At a juncture like this, it is more critical than ever to ensure we preserve our democratic institutions and ideals, the very ones that the terrorists on 9/11 sought to destroy.

Let the final words of the late Senator John McCain not have been written in vain: “We are citizens of the world’s greatest republic, a nation of ideals, not blood and soil… We argue and compete and sometimes even vilify each other in our raucous public debates. But we have always had so much more in common with each other than in disagreement. If only we remember that and give each other the benefit of the presumption that we all love our country we will get through these challenging times. We will come through them stronger than before. We always do.”

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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