The following is the editorial that ran in the Herald’s Sept. 12, 2001 extra edition.
Dec. 7, 1941, the day of the attack on Pearl Harbor, was described by then-president Franklin D. Roosevelt as “a date which will live in infamy.”
The events of that day, much like those of yesterday, inspired fear, confusion and a sense of helplessness in the hearts and minds of the American people.
But, like Pearl Harbor, the American people and the spirit they embody will live on, and we will get through this.
With a tragedy of this magnitude on the minds of everyone, the first reaction of many, and understandably so, is to seek immediate retribution.
Here at Western, we are a small pocket of this country, representative of the many cultures and ethnic groups that come together as a country, a community and a university.
Regardless of your place of birth, your accent or your skin color, we are all shocked and saddened by the terrible events of yesterday. This is a time for us to come together, not fall apart.
As students and faculty walk across campus, they see evidence of the theory that America is the world’s largest melting pot. This is as much a part of the beautiful concept that is the American spirit as the Star and Stripes.
Now is a time for calm. It is a time for us to stand together and trust that our chosen leaders will act for us. It is a time to let our unity serve as a weapon, and our common concern for the well-being of the victims and their families act as an attack plan.
President George W. Bush said in a statement yesterday morning that the United States “will hunt down and punish those responsible for these cowardly attacks.”
If we turn on one another, then we acknowledge the power of tyranny and void the spirit of liberty this country was founded upon.
As citizens, immigrants and patriots of this great country, our best course of action can only be to remember the innocent who fell victim to the senseless acts of mass destruction and murder.
It is essential we band together as a community and continue to keep the families and friends of the fallen in our thoughts and prayers.
We will come through this, and we will come through it stronger than ever.
Aside from the horrible ramifications of these unprecidented attacks, this is a chance to witness the remarkable resillience of the human, and more specifically, the American spirit.
Yesterday, as a country stood in a state of sudden shock, and thousands were senslessly killed; ordinary men and women in New York, Washington D.C. and across the entire country became heros through their selfless acts of bravery.
Though we many never fully repay the debt we owe these couragous people, we nevertheless appreciate and applaud their efforts.
The thoughts and prayers of the Herald staff are with the victims, their families and the countless heros, all of whom will forever hold a place in the hearts of Americans.