"After we honor the 10th anniversary of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, we need to leave the day behind," says E.J. Dionne in The Washington Post. During the last decade of looking backwards, we've made mistakes that have left America "weaker, more divided and less certain of itself." And "if we continue to place 9/11 at the center of our national consciousness, we will keep making the same mistakes." That would do "nothing to honor those who died and those who sacrificed to prevent even more suffering." Here, an excerpt:
In the flood of anniversary commentary, notice how often the term "the lost decade" has been invoked. We know now, as we should have known all along, that American strength always depends first on our strength at home — on a vibrant, innovative and sensibly regulated economy, on levelheaded fiscal policies, on the ability of our citizens to find useful work, on the justice of our social arrangements.
This is not "isolationism." It is a common sense that was pushed aside by the talk of "glory" and "honor," by utopian schemes to transform the world by abruptly reordering the Middle East — and by our fears. While we worried that we would be destroyed by terrorists, we ignored the larger danger of weakening ourselves by forgetting what made us great.
We have no alternative from now on but to look forward and not back.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Syrian women know how to defeat ISIS
- The U.S. Marines are developing laser weapons. Here's why.
- The one thing the New Atheists get right about religion
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 5 baffling foreign-language versions of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song
- Will Kobani be ISIS's Waterloo?
- Bob Odenkirk's 6 favorite books
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- The stories behind 22 classic album covers
Subscribe to the Week