The fourth jetliner was prevented from killing others outside of its own skin by the heroic efforts of those passengers within it. They realized what those monstrous heaps of animated human flesh intended to waste their craft and lives for, and they chose instead to meet death on their own terms, rather than that of their hijackers.
Those heroes on Flight #93 chose for life over death, good over evil.
Those Muslim extremists succeeded in destroying the lives of nearly 3,000 people that day, and many more since, by using our own lives and achievements against us, and they were enabled to only because we refused to identify the nature of their chosen evil, time, and time again, before September 11, 2001.
Ayman Zawahiri is a medical doctor. Bin Laden was an engineer. Atta studied architecture. The shoe bomber, Major Nidal, the bus station back shooter, these men are not united by poverty or ignorance, they are driven only by their religious beliefs, and by the belief that they should end the lives of those who disagree with them.
I need understand nothing more than that; the fact that they are acting upon the ideas which they fervently believe in. Ideas which are utterly opposed to the possibility of men and women using their own best judgment in order to live their lives as they see fit. In these particular Muslim's eyes, they would rather see a man shot in the back, or his own daughter killed, or a man's head sawed and torn from his shoulders, or thousands of people incinerated, than to think of them making choices which they disapprove of.
In this world, here and now, such a desire and the willingness to carry it out, is pure Evil.
Today we remember those whose lives were taken from them ten years ago today, by the choices of men made small and despicable and evil by their chosen ideas, which forbid their fellow men the ability to use their own minds and make their own choices.
What we must remember today, is that when faced with either an active
choice, or with identifying a remembrance, we must be willing to choose what is Good, and to denounce what is Evil.
Being unwilling to recognize the truth, or to name evil for what it is, is to befriend and encourage that evil.
Today, that is worth remembering.
Update: With a Hat Tip to Joan of Argh's excellent "The Gods Of The Copybook Headlines", I too do affirm and swear that Wretchard speaks for me:
The story of September 11 must for all time become the story of how a certain date became unspeakable to al-Qaeda and its followers; a tale of how this day of all others, became the blackest day in the history of Islam. It should forever be a date that can never be mentioned without arousing a deep sense of shame throughout the Middle East so that in generations hence, people should still come up to strangers unbidden and say, “I’m sorry for September 11. “ Until then it is unfinished business.
We have no right to forgive. We have no right to forget. We have no right to move on until this final condition is met. That in the holy of holies of our civilization’s enemies, in the innermost recesses of their sanctum sanctorum they should say with heartfelt ardor: never again. Never again. Never, ever again."