Tuesday's acts of war against the United States, will, we trust, have the very opposite effect intended by our foes. As Imperial Japan discovered after an earlier Day of Infamy, Americans grit their teeth and press on to victory when attacked. But we must do this while taking care, as best we can, to protect such basic American principles as democracy, liberty, tolerance and openness.
Our enemies must not be allowed to weaken the foundations of a free society virtually unique in human history. They should only be allowed to unify us in righteous outrage.
Secretary of State Colin Powell was eloquent Tuesday: "They can destroy buildings, they can kill people, and we will be saddened by this tragedy, but they will never be allowed to kill the spirit of democracy. They cannot destroy our democracy." Americans will, we trust, not let themselves be swept away by fear. . . .
Today, citizens will take heart from the strength Americans have shown in past crises as they do what they can to help the victims, to identify and pursue the guilty, to take such reasonable steps as can be taken to improve security -- and to go about their daily business. This last imperative is crucial because the sense of freedom to come and go undergirds so much of what makes America unique among great nations. We must not let our fanatical foes paralyze this freedom.
As Franklin Roosevelt said, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." While we must be aware that everyone always is vulnerable to evil, we must also keep in mind that evil can be defeated. . . .