Seven years later, as we pause to remember those who perished in New York City, in Washington, D.C. and in Shanksville, PA, I know that in the heat of a presidential campaign, the absurd captures the obvious. Today it is fitting to recall the obvious and (at least temporarily) shelve the absurd. As the ground shook beneath our collective feet that day and as we gazed with horror at the scenes unfolding before us, we endured a common grief, and then resolved to achieve a common purpose.
Seven years later, Osama Bin Laden by most intelligence accounts, is still alive. Seven years later, his top lieutenant -- Ayman Al Zahriwi is still issuing Fatwas and diatribes against the infidels. Seven years later, Al Qaeda has actually reconstituted itself with training camps and command and control in Pakistan. Seven years later, we have yet to effectively marshal the world's scorn against the perpetrators. Seven years later the United States faces the uncertainty that a terror attack even greater than 9/11 can happen once again on our homeland.
The victims from 95 nations, their families, and the American people have yet to savor the justice they deserve from the terrorism that was committed that morning. Despite the misadventure and misappropriation that has detoured us from that objective, we have so many heroes to be thankful for that offered their service and their lives since 2001 in the name of the justice that still elude us.
I, for one, will not forget the mother who besieged me two years after that horrible day not to forget that she lost her son in the south tower. She showed me his photo and told me she feared Americans would forget...that they would move on and become divided despite the unity of purpose we all shared that day and so many days after 9/11. That sense of unity seems so distant today in the thick of the presidential campaign...it is truly one of the casualties of the past seven years.
So to keep my promise to that mother, and all the mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, and all of the families who lost so much that day and since...I write this so that our remembrance of 9/11 serves as reminder that we were once united in our determination to complete the unfinished business at hand...to bring justice to those who ruined so many lives. For all that we lost and gained that day, it is time to finish our business.