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9/11

This is a guest post, by an American friend

Seven years ago, the world changed today at this hour. Enough time has passed now that there are few television specials, candlelit vigils, public commemorations or rememberances save for the odd moment of silence and a concentrated anguish among those who were closest to the tragedy. Here in Europe the day is the same as yesterday and will be the same as tomorrow.

But I remember vividly that day. And on each anniversary I re-read my e-mails and it brings back the fear, confusion, anger and (for me in London) a keen feeling of detachment from my country. But there was also a sensation of being pulled into something momentous, and a longing for wise and brave leadership and a call to action. I felt like a patriot.

Much has changed since that day. And our leadership has not always been wise or brave. But I still long for a call to action. There are many who give—their time, their service, their money or their other gifts. But these remarkable efforts of a relative few are inadequate to knit us together as a nation faced with a great challenge and a threat.

I hope that the new leadership we are soon to chose may ask more of us as citizens than has been asked of us during these past seven years. It seems so well within our capabilities and so obviously a tonic for so much that discourages us. We could show our enemies what we are made of, what it means to be American. But better still we could show each other and our children.

And on this day, as I remember those who were the first to live and die in this new world, I hope for it more than anything.

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