Six years ago I was still teaching high school history and politics. I remember standing in front of the television in the high school library with many others, students and teachers, as it became apparent that the country was being attacked. Many of those watching were very liberal, but I remember all of us reacting that day, and for some time after, just as Gene Edward Veith remembers the response of the whole nation:
[R]emember...how we Americans were all unified, how we were bound together in love and compassion and mercy for the fallen and in the desire to defend our civilization against barbarians. Do you remember that? And how we honored the firemen, police, and rescue workers for their vocations and how they sacrificed their own lives to save others?Cranach: 9/11 Remembered
Do you remember the moral clarity? How trivial and absurd relativism seemed at the time, how even avant garde artists were hailing the end of irony and cynicism. How nearly everyone realized that multiculturalism is no excuse, that all religions are not the same after all, that Western civilization is worth defending after all.
But how quickly we have forgotten, as if 9/11 had never happened.