For the American people, the mass murder and horror of 9/11 was a day for courage, honor, charity and resolve.
We were not defeated, we did not become hateful, we refused to stop, although we paused, of necessity.
For the state, 9/11 was an abject failure. No, I don’t mean first responders, who gave lives, service and love in full measure.
No, I mean the alphabet soup of the “national security state”, tagged out by the government’s own post-action report for failing to preempt, and prepare.
We were attacked five years after al Qaeda mailed its declaration of war to President Clinton’s secretary of defense.
For what we paid, and pay, in their budgets, we had high expectations of our three-letter agencies, to preserve our security and keep the barbarians from the gate.
Since 9/11, time after time, we’ve seem them fail, and, every time, the heroes come from amongst us, instead.
In the passage of time, and in the speeches delivered today, we-the-people are conflated with we-the-government.
Those were two different days, 22 years ago.