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I wrote one of my first editorials in the wake of the September 11th terrorist attacks. In it, I predicted that those responsible would be brought to justice and that America would emerge stronger than ever.
Now, looking back, I believe my predictions have proven largely correct.
Yes, it took longer than many expected, but Osama bin Laden, was finally found and killed, and his al Qaeda organization has been severely crippled. And because of the lessons learned that day, we're now far less vulnerable to terrorist plots, from outside our borders as well as within.
But scoring these victories and increasing our security has cost thousands of lives and trillions of dollars. And in the process, in many ways, we've sacrificed many of the freedoms we once took for granted and become a less trusting, less open society.
Given the choice, I'd love to return to those more carefree days. But we weren't given that choice. A new reality was forced upon us that day ten years ago, and there's no going back.
But we can make sure our newfound vigilance is always based in strength instead of fear. And that it's always tempered with common sense and a mutual respect for each others' dignity. That's not only the American way – it's also the best way I can think of to honor the memory of those who paid the ultimate price that day.