It’s September 11th – a day when journalists, public officials, military personnel and most citizens take the time to reflect on the tragedies that occurred eight years ago. President Obama released a statement marking the day “National Day of Service and Remembrance, 2009” and held a moment of silence for the lives lost in the event.
After 9/11, there was a grievous lapse of hard-won civil liberties, most obviously proposed in the Patriot Act, but more generally, rights and freedoms were stripped of citizens in the name of “national security”. Words like “wiretapping” and “preventative detention” went from being spooky sci-fi concepts to household names to cruel realities for countless Americans. Individual freedoms were limited, privacy rights were trampled upon, and in most cases, fear and paranoia were the only things served.
Eight years ago, our country reeled in shock and pain over the terrorist attacks, and the events that followed were clearly a direct result of that misery. However – allowing our nation to succumb to fear is not – and never will be – an option. As we’ve stated on our post 9/11 page:
“An immutable characteristic of our nation is freedom. If we allow the interests of “national security” to take away our freedoms, we surrender what it is to be an American.”
Our rights and freedoms are far too precious – and far too essential – to give up on in the wake of tragedy.