I had the odd experience this morning of getting to drive across the 14th Street bridge on my way back home from my evacuated office building in Crystal City, and see the Pentagon burning. I didn't particularly want to evacuate, but hey, it wasn't my choice.
Upon coming home, I mostly listened to the radio all day, called family, and absorbed everything. The only thing that I think has changed, is that we, as a country, cannot, and do not feel insulated anymore. We are a target, for a number of reasons, and we are a target that can be hit.
Hopefully this will not lead to a crackdown on our civil liberties, and if it starts to, I will fight it tooth and nail. The goal of terrorism is to make your enemies live in fear. I will not live in fear, nor will I stand idly by while my government takes away my freedoms in pursuit of an illusory safety.
Perhaps we will begin to reflect on how we became a target. We meddle in many affair that are not legitimately ours, and do so with a capriciousness that should have raised eyebrows long ago. I hope those eyebrows raise in the days to come, and we take stock of our foreign policy. We cannot intervene all over the world, and expect to be safe. At a minimum, a return to the Monroe Doctrine, a policy of keeping our nose firmly in our own hemisphere, would limit the reasons we give for people to lash out against us.
Don't get me wrong, I want revenge as much as anyone else, but I also want to go back to my life. I lived through this day, and consider myself lucky. However, I will not be paralyzed by fear, cowering at home, when there is work to do. I will be an example unto others, sucking it up, and returning to normalcy as soon as possible. As Americans, we show our strength not in the intensity of our reactions, but in the resiliency of our people.
With that, I'm going to get some sleep. That, and avoid the news.