The way to win

Since the time of Rimon Farris, atrocities have been committed upon us to keep us from attaining our goals. To the roll of martyrs, the name of Feleho, who of his own free will became Ambrov to Zeor, is added. Let not his death break our spirit. Let us lift his burden and carry it on so that his death will be imperceptible to his enemies.

— from Zeor’s funeral litany
Jacqueline Lichtenberg, House of Zeor

These words shed an instructive light on our rememberence of events ten years past. Many times have I heard someone say, “If we do such-and-such, the terrorists win.” What I have not heard acknowledged, however, is that in fact the terrorists did succeed. They destablized our government operations and our own everyday lives. They created an undercurrent of distrust. They transformed air travel, which hitherto had been merely uncomfortable and annoying, into a fiesta of frustration, paranoia, and occasionally outright foolishness. In short, they infected us with terror.

A far better response would deny them their success. They want us terrified? Let us not fear. They want us destablized? Let us affirm our confidence. Let us respond with sadness, with grief, with determination — but not with fear of the unknown future.

Consider rewriting the Zeor litany thus, with special attention to the last two sentences:

Since the time of the Founding Fathers, atrocities have been committed upon us to keep us from attaining our goals. To the roll of martyrs, let the names be appended of those who perished in the Twin Towers, in the Pentagon, and on board United Airlines flight 93. Let their deaths not break our spirit. Let us lift their burdens and carry them on so that their deaths will be imperceptible to our enemies.

That is the way to win.

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