07/08/05 — With firm resolve: Britain’s suffering equaled by its courage

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With firm resolve: Britain’s suffering equaled by its courage

It was hard to look at the pictures from the London bombings Thursday without thinking back to another day, almost four years ago, when those panicked looks and scared faces were not in the United Kingdom, but in New York City.

Sept. 11, 2001, seems like a lifetime ago. The memories and the hurt are still there; the wound just is not as fresh. And even though this nation has moved on, that doesn’t mean that we will ever forget how much damage the terrorists did to this country and thousands of its families.

Seeing the injuries and the damage in London, and hearing the stories of terror from those who lived through the attacks, brought back some of the pain this nation experienced as we watched our own people suffer on that fateful day.

And as we watched the British people declare their intention not to succumb to such vicious attacks, so, too, should we remind those who think we will weaken just how strong our resolve is to continue to pursue freedom for the Middle East and safety for the world.

There is not much to say in any form of commentary that can possibly change the perspective of anyone who thinks that killing innocents in the name of a religion is a form of martyrdom.

And there is no need to emphasize just how horrendous such a crime is. Those of us who have witnessed the actions of these radicals more than once certainly do not need to be told how without honor they are.

So, what remains is to discuss the conclusions that can be drawn from their actions and where we go next, not just as a nation, but as a world community.

It is obvious that all the diplomacy in the world is not going to change the mindset of the Muslim extremists. Our decision should center on: Are we going to let these thugs bully us into changing our policies and retreating out of Iraq, or are we going to do what is right and finish the job we started?

The answer seems simple: We stay the course.

Defending freedom and fighting for justice requires more than simply waiting for a threat to arrive at our shores. To prevent world wars and other armed conflicts, we have to address problems as they come along. And, for now, that means supporting the people in Iraq as they take their first shaky steps toward freedom.

Sending a message that we have been hurt, but not deterred, will do more than anything to let the terrorist cells know they have a formidable foe on their hands — and one with the courage to see this battle through.

And it is in that courage and determination to fight for justice that we will honor the thousands lost on Sept. 11 and the hundreds injured in London.

Those who brought down that plane in a Pennsylvania field rather than letting terrorists use it to attack Washington, D.C., would be proud.

Published in Editorials on July 8, 2005 11:54 AM