This week Long Islanders face another anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. As we remember the thousands of innocent lives lost — we also face the annual barrage of talking-head tributes, academic examinations and psychological analyses.
Local news broadcasts and cable television will once again air programs seeking the answers to questions that have seemingly been asked and answered hundreds of times over the last decade. However, the most important question — are we safer? — is the only one that truly matters.
It is easy to get bogged down in the “where were you when it happened” conversation with family, friends and coworkers. What’s not so easy is marking the ways this country has changed for the better since. When the attacks occurred, elected officials promised unity and even sang “God Bless America” together on the steps of the Capitol to symbolize their newfound political harmony. That maudlin display turned out to be a farce. When the dust cleared at Ground Zero, Congress was back to fighting along party lines and pitting Americans against one another over the most trivial of issues. For an event that defined our country, 9/11 hasn’t done anything to usher in change.