Post-9/11 unity is needed again

Published 10:23 am Saturday, September 10, 2011

For Americans, Sept. 11, 2001, was a day of horror with few silver linings.

One positive outcome, albeit fleeting, was the collective faith, resilience, strength and love that transcended partisan politics and other barriers that too often divide us as Americans.

In the months following 9/11, we weren’t Republicans or Democrats. We were Americans.

We weren’t white Americans or African-Americans. We were simply Americans.

Even Christians and peace-minded Muslims found common ground during that trying time.

Sadly, in one short decade, the post-9/11 unity has given way to poisonous politics, especially in Washington, where legitimate debates over policy have become intensely personal. Some politicians are even using the word “terrorists” to describe colleagues across the aisle in debates over fiscal policies. If nothing else, you’d think 9/11 would have taught us the real meaning of terrorism.

Even the recent capture and killing of Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of that horrible day 10 years ago, didn’t stop the partisan sniping.

As we pause this weekend to reflect on 9/11 and mourn its many victims, let us recommit to the nonpartisan principles that built our great country — faith, charity, patriotism and respect for dissenting viewpoints.

We have big problems to tackle in America. Disagreement about the way to fix them is natural, even healthy. Attacking those we disagree with has no place in the process.