I was going to write something sober and reflective, trying to find some long-term perspective for the terrorist attacks of the 11th of September, 2001. Having logged on, I found this piece by Francis Fukuyama in the Guardian. It is brilliant and brief, offering succinct and incisive analysis. Timothy Garton-Ash put forward similar thoughts earlier in the week.
What they don't offer, what no dispassionate or clear-headed perspective can provide, what a lot of Americans still need, is comfort and reassurance. Because, unfortunately, there is none to be had. This has always been a dangerous world where terrible things can happen suddenly and irrevocably, and there is no policy, weapon or faith that can guarantee individual safety.
The unimaginable impact of that day will never diminish for those who were injured, for those whose friends or family were killed, or for those who witnessed the disaster first hand and escaped. But it would be a tragedy for America, let alone the world, if our future history continued to pivot around this black day.