By HDN Editorial Board
Abraham Lincoln closed his second inaugural address with these words: "With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves, and with all nations."
President Lincoln's words were meant to inspire the Union's struggle to unite a nation divided by war.
The sponsors of the attack of Sept. 11 had hoped to spark a global civil war based on religious doctrine. Our nation's and the world's response has been exactly the opposite. Friends and foes alike have joined in global condemnation of the terrorists' attack. President Bush's first words after the attack stated that this was not an attack on the United States but on the entire civilized world. Our struggle is not with Islam, but a band of criminals hiding under the guise of religious piety. Our president knows, as Lincoln knew about his war, that this effort against terrorism will not be a modern blitzkrieg but a campaign that could last for years.
In the days following the attack, we on the Hi-Line joined all Americans who have rallied to show our nation's resolve to defend the freedoms we generally take for granted. While we all wish there could be a quick conclusion to this conflict, we should show the world and our enemies that we are determined to prevail no matter the duration or the hardships.
We people of the Hi-Line should pledge to never forget those who lost their lives on Sept. 11 or take for granted freedoms we enjoy, or forget those who defend them. The 11th of each month should be a day we recognize, to show our determination to stand united. We should fly our flags, wear our patriotic garments and pins, and pause for a moment of silence at 9 a.m.