Sixteen years ago today, a new chapter began for the western world. The attacks on New York and Washington weren’t just a devastating terrorist act; they were the start of a new era of modern history. In North America, a veil was lifted and we were confronted with the kind of violence other parts of the world have faced on a regular basis.
Think of all that’s changed since then: wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, terror cells taken down and new ones that sprouted up, young men and women radicalized, enormous resources devoted to security at airports and other large gathering places, and attacks both thwarted and executed, including one right here in Ottawa. It’s often a disturbing and troubling time. And yet we’re still blessed with extraordinary freedom and security. Despite the shadow of terrorism, our daily lives remain largely the same as they were before.
We’ll never forget the events of September 11, 2001. And while we must continue to be vigilant and fight the threats of terrorism and radicalization, we should be grateful at how rarely it strikes close to home.