Strike back by carrying on

September 19, 2001

In the wake of the horrific events of Sept. 11, it is easy to be overcome by the awful sadness of the moment and give way to the feelings of powerlessness that naturally accompany terrorist attacks. Even after the disbelief of these terrible acts has

In the wake of the horrific events of Sept. 11, it is easy to be overcome by the awful sadness of the moment and give way to the feelings of powerlessness that naturally accompany terrorist attacks. Even after the disbelief of these terrible acts has faded, there will be a tendency for us to ignore our personal and professional lives, because these tasks pale in comparison to the magnitude of what has happened in New York and Washington. This is the worst thing we could do.

For years we have wrung our hands about our inability to effectively battle terrorism. But in this instance we all have something we can and must do: We must face what has happened and go on, not as though nothing has happened, but in spite of what has happened.

This will not be easy. We will want to do something that directly attacks those who attacked us. And when we cannot, we could easily let that anger fester and distract us. We must resist this urge.

In attacking the epicenter of the world’s financial markets, these terrorists attacked our ability to do what we do best: to produce, create, and excel financially. When we put our daily responsibilities aside, we magnify the effect of their attacks a thousand-fold.

We cannot allow them to succeed. We cannot allow them to affect the economic strength that is the backbone of our society by letting them get inside our heads. We, the workers, are the true power of this nation-not buildings, regardless of their stature or prestige. The tragic loss of life is reason for us to mourn. It is reason to take prudent measures to ensure that no such events occur again.

It is reason to strike back politically and militarily against those who lashed out against us. But these are tasks best left for the professionals within our government who are trained to accomplish them. We must focus our anger and pain and do our jobs as well as or better than we would if this tragedy had not occurred. Whatever tasks were scheduled for completion should be completed as soon as possible. Our day-to-day lives, our commitment to excellence, and our perseverance are what make us a great nation. If we carry on, we will come through this stronger than before and we can shake off the feelings of powerlessness that are a common response to acts of terrorism.