Debra Burlingame on 9/11

On the seventh anniversary of 9/11 Debra Burlingame, the sister of Capt. Charles F. (Chic) Burlingame 3rd, pilot of American Airlines Flight 77 which crashed into the Pentagon on 9/11, warns that this event increasingly is being “misremembered” by the American public:

There is a disturbing phenomenon creeping into the public debate about all things 9/11. Increasingly, Sept. 11 is compared to hurricanes, bridge collapses and other mechanical disasters or criminal acts that result in loss of life, with “body count” being the primary factor that keeps it in the top spot of “worst in the nation’s history.”

Misremembering is as dangerous as forgetting. If we must know one thing, it is that the Sept. 11 attacks were neither a natural disaster, nor the unfortunate result of human error. 9/11 wasn’t the catastrophic equivalent of a 3,000-car pileup.

The attacks were not a random act of violence or insanity. They were a deliberate and brutal act of war committed by religious fanatics engaged in Islamic jihad against the United States, all non-Muslim people and any Muslim who wishes to live in a secular society. Worse, the people who perpetrated the attacks have explicitly told us that they are not done.

Sept. 11 is a date that comes and goes once a year, but “9/11” is with us every day. The body count keeps rising – Bali, Riyadh, Istanbul, Madrid, Beslan, London, Amman.

We now clearly know that the 1993 World Trade Center bombing was part of the holy war against America. When we previously dismissed this as a random attack by crazy men and declared ourselves lucky that “only six lives were lost,” we effectively disarmed ourselves. Eight years later, six became 3,000. While the comparison to other “tragedies” may help us cope with what has befallen us, we must resist being glib and intellectually careless.

Our fellow human beings were not “lost” in 1993 or on 9/11. They were torn to pieces. We must not give the enemy any quarter. We must confront the reality of their acts.

Via NRO’s Corner.

UPDATE: Diana West observes the same phenomenon: “We appear to have decided to remember 9/11 as something akin to a natural disaster that came and went rather than as a part of a diffuse but discernable push to advance the law of Islam.” Moreover, Diana contends that one “effect of 9/11 has been, on balance, an accelerated campaign of accommodation of Islam’s law in the West.”

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