Why 9/11 Was So Different

Andy Rooney On Memorable Days

The following is a weekly 60 Minutes commentary by CBS News correspondent Andy Rooney.

There have been a lot of memorable days in our country's history but some of them we'd rather forget. September 11th, 2001 is one of those. It isn't a day to celebrate but it's a day we shouldn't forget, either.

We need some word other than "holiday" to call some of our memorable days.

Pearl Harbor, December 7th 1941 was one of the worst days in our country's history.

The day John F. Kennedy was assassinated was a bad day. It was the death of just one man but JFK was so very American that we all died a little when he died.

Presidents James Garfield, William McKinley and of course Abraham Lincoln were all assassinated. If you're the president, you must think about them every time you go out in public. I hope we're more careful protecting our president now.

The Wall Street stock market crash in 1929 was a different kind of disaster.

We went into Iraq March 20th, 2003 and they won't be closing the banks on March 20th every year to celebrate that.

The Three Mile Island nuclear disaster in 1979 might have wiped out our civilization.

Most of our disasters have had some natural origin - floods, too much water. Hurricanes and tornadoes, too much wind, too much rain. Droughts may be worse but not so dramatic as hurricanes because they don't happen on one day.

The disaster on September 11th wasn't like any of those. It was manmade. Death by design. Some people who hated Americans set out to kill a lot of us and they succeeded

Americans are puzzled over why so many people in the world hate us. We seem so nice to ourselves. They do hate us though. We know that and we're trying to protect ourselves with more weapons.

We have to do it I suppose but it might be better if we figured out how to behave as a nation in a way that wouldn't make so many people in the world want to kill us.