Originally Published: January 1, 2002 5:15 p.m.
Historians will look back on the year 2001 decades from now and see even more profound changes in the country than we have seen in the final three months and three weeks of this year.
Before Sept. 11, Americans were fat, dumb and happy. The most important news of the day was the childish bickering between the major political parties on tax policy and social legislation.
Then came the most devastating attack on our nation in history.
Adversity has a way of narrowing everything down to their most basic essentials. Petty political prattle had to give way to action; spin artistry just doesn't fly in such times.
None of us ever again will be the same as we were before the attacks. The attacks will shape our actions and lives for years to come.
This year's new year celebration for many will be more subdued and reflective, although we all should celebrate the sterling conduct of our men and women in the armed forces in the war on terrorism.
We should ponder one important point; in the past three months, we Americans have proven that when the occasion calls for it, we are capable of extraordinary feats. Since we know that extraordinary ability resides in us, what could we accomplish if we called on it ourselves, instead of waiting for tidal waves of history to bring it out of us.
What could we accomplish? Better yet, what could we not accomplish?
Let us move ahead with a new resolve.