'Big Yearning' Remains to Talk About 9/11 Attacks, Author Says

July 7, 2008 - 7:20 PM

(CNSNews.com) - In case any Americans had forgotten about the six-month anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the blitz of media coverage Monday was there to remind them.

Network programming and newsprint was full of Sept. 11 flashbacks. Columnists couldn't resist discussing what happened on that day and how things have changed in America since then.

"In the past six months, New York has learned more about itself in a shorter time than it ever has before," opined the New York Times editorial page. "Most of us are still coming to grips with that knowledge, trying to understand, for instance, why it should take the worst of days to bring out the best in us."

"I think the untold, unmentioned story about New York right now ... is the disjunction between what we truly think and act," wrote columnist Peggy Noonan in Monday's Wall Street Journal Opinion Journal. "It occurs to us now and then, as we rush through the streets in our busy, distracted way, that we've got a target on our backs."

"Virtually every important person in my life is in New York City or Washington, D.C.," wrote National Review Online's Jonah Goldberg, remembering Sept. 11. Goldberg was in Pendleton, Oregon on that day.

Radio talk show host Michael Medved says the wall-to-wall coverage of the six-month anniversary is justified.
"I think that this is obviously the biggest event in the lives of most people in this country," said Medved. "So I think it's appropriate that there's this kind of coverage in looking back.

"Much of what people are talking about is superficial," said Medved. "But then again, someone could say the changes ended up being more superficial."

Neil Howe, an author and historian, believes Americans-and the media-just feel a need to continue reflecting on that terrible day.

"There hasn't been another big event, and the economy is back in gear, and people are thinking there may not be any immediate" terrorist threat, said Howe. Pop culture and politics are going back to normalcy, he said.

"And yet there's this underlying feeling that nothing is the same," Howe continued. "There's a sense of precariousness about history and where we're going that no one felt before and that everyone continues to feel. Yet there's nothing in the news now that gives us an opportunity to really talk about. So I think there's this big yearning."

There is also, apparently, a desire by some to say I told you so.

"I am apparently the only fellow who has seriously warned that the Muslim mentality that bombed the World Trade Center in 1993 would be back to successfully finish the job - unless we ask why they tried it in 1993," wrote economist and columnist Jude Wanniski on his company's homepage, polyconomics.com.

"It happened because of the predicament in the Middle East," Wanniski explained. "You know it and I know it and the Arabs and the Israelis know it. If the Saudi peace initiative is nurtured and comes to full flower, as I think it can, there can at last be peace between Jews and Palestinians."

It's this peace, Wanniski believes, that will quell hostility between Israel and Iraq and bring back U.S. troops from Saudi Arabia, and heal the "open sore on the civilized world" that led to 9/11.

E-mail a news tip to Christine Hall.

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