Ten Years After 9/11: Where Does America Go From Here?

It's time for reconciliation. It's time to make sure our troops finally come home

Those who were in Lower Manhattan in the early morning hours of September 11, 2001 remember marveling at the innocent blue sky. That sky started to change dramatically at 8:46 a.m. when the first plane hit the North Tower of the World Trade Center. From that moment on, a chain of evil events slowly stole the sky from sight, not just in Lower Manhattan, but in Washington D.C., Shanksville, Pennsylvania and across America.

We were all covered in a tumbling dust cloud of fear. When the dust finally settled, the blue sky was gone and America’s innocence was lost by an event so all encompassing that we now mark time as pre-9/11 and post-9/11.

In this post-9/11 world, we get scanned for bombs as we enter a baseball stadium, we take our shoes off to be x-rayed at the airport, and terror alerts have become something we have gotten used to, like hurricane or tornado warnings.

And then there is war. America has been fighting in fear of terror ever since it found our shores. Hundreds of thousands of Americans have served in Iraq and Afghanistan: 6,498 have died; 45,160 are wounded. Lives lost and lives changed forever, all the result of the 9/11 attacks.

Now, as we come to the end of our first decade in America post-9/11, here is hoping that we can finally emerge from the darkness that befell this country that day; that we can remain vigilant, but less fearful; that our need for vengeance can transition into reconciliation; and, most importantly, that all of our troops can finally come home.

That is my hope for September 11, 2011—that we remember, we mourn and then we exorcize that day from our daily existence and put it where it belongs … in our history books.

America will never get its innocence back. But after a decade of fear and darkness, another blue sky would be nice.

Larry Mendte writes for The Philly Post every Thursday. See his previous columns here. To watch his video commentaries, go to wpix.com. Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter @LarryMendte.