Saturday, September 11, 2004

Remembering September 11th

Like many Americans today, I stopped for a moment of silence to remember the attack. Unlike most Americans, I then rolled up my sleeves and tried to make sure it will never happen again.

I participated in a major, county-wide terrorism drill with several different local, state and federal agencies today. It was the final day of a three-day exercise to test our ability to respond to a terrorist attack that used hazardous materials. It didn't go perfectly, but by the third day we had learned from our mistakes and had made clear improvement.

The idea of having an exercise on September 11th was controversial, and some agencies didn't choose to participate, instead going to memorial services. And that's fine. But I personally can't think of a better way to honor the dead than to make sure that if it ever happens again, we will be prepared.

We are still at war. We cannot take a day off from our defensive preparations any more than we can with our offensive operations. We still have a long way to go. And we owe it to the over 3,000 victims of 9/11 to win this war.

Defeat is not an option.


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