Patience Needed In War Against Terror

bob schieffer
It will be six months Monday, but sometimes it seems like six years. In Washington we've gotten so used to the security, the barricades, the airport hassles and the sirens in the night that we've come to think of this as how it always was.

And every day or so, we get word that another American soldier has died. We've come to expect that as a part of the war.

The president told us in the beginning this would be a long war, but I doubt we really believed it in the land of fast food, where 30-second campaign commercials have taken the place of political rallies. We don't really believe anything takes very long anymore.

The downside of instant communications is a shorter attention span, so six months into this we have come to the hard part: understanding it won't be done in a day.

But as we try to be patient, we must not take the wrong lessons from these past six months. We know sacrifice will be required and that some will die, but we must never allow ourselves to become used to that or to take it for granted. Life is a most precious of all commodities.

And yes, we must be patient about the security, but we accept it only as a temporary measure. We must never allow ourselves to believe that terrorism is something we can learn to live with. It must be defeated. We want our lives as they were.

Tomorrow we will remember September 11, but it is just as important to remember the day before, September 10. Our test will be whether or not we remember how it used to be and have the courage and patience to accept nothing less in the days to come.