On this, the second anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, we join other Americans in mourning the deaths of the more than 3,000 people who were killed in New York City, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C., on that fateful day.
The deaths of thousands of innocent people at the hands of radical Islamic terrorists is an outrage that Americans must never forget - and never let happen again.
Clearly, on that awful day America was caught off-guard much as it was on December 7, 1941, when the Japanese war machine carried out its devastating attack on U.S. forces at Pearl Harbor. On September 11, 2001, as they had on December 7, 1941, Americans realized that movements unfolding in far-off places could reach America's shores with astounding force and consequences.
It was decided after September 11 that our country could no longer take a passive approach to terrorism, that it had to take the offensive, and wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were undertaken by the Bush administration with the support of the U.S. Congress. Only now are we fully realizing the difficulty of the undertaking. Our superbly trained and armed military easily overthrew brutal regimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, but changing those countries into places that will no longer be a breeding ground and sanctuary for terrorists has proven to be a much more difficult task.