Today the nation observes Patriots Day along with memorializing the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States by the al Qaeda hijackers, who used jetliners as bombs to blow up the twin towers in New York City and damage the Pentagon. A plane flown into the ground in Pennsylvania apparently was meant to attack the White House.
Since then, the nation has become more cognizant of threats to our safety from abroad, and we have become embroiled in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to push hard against those who would attack us again from the Middle East.
We also are being threatened by North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, who has managed to develop or acquire nuclear weapons which possibly could reach the United States.
At best, our security is not assured, and at worst, we are vulnerable to attacks that could harm us and involve us in further wars.
Because we won World War II, we tend to think of ourselves as safe, but we have to remember that since World War II we have sent our military into combat a half dozen times and made great efforts to protect ourselves. But we are in danger almost every day.
Eisenhower was the last president to lead the nation to victory, and that was before he was elected to that office.
Since then, wars have been more like police actions — as President Truman called the Korean War —never quite finished.
But history tells us that wars need to be won once they are engaged. They aren’t shoving matches.
The one thing that 9/11 teaches us is that if an enemy engages us in war and is not conquered, it continues to be our enemy.
It is a hard lesson.