Democracy is never safe: Thoughts on 9/11

Sep 11, 2022 | PDA News

In solidarity,
Debra Schrishuhn for the PDA National Team


Remembrance of the Past, Hope for the Future


On September 11, 2001, four planes full of innocent passengers and 19 determined terrorists changed our world forever. Two planes struck the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. One plane struck the Pentagon in Arlington County, VA. One plane, headed possibly for the U.S. Capitol, crashed into a field in Pennsylvania, killing all aboard but saving the lives of hundreds of members of Congress and Capitol staffers.

On that ill-fated plane, Flight 93, the events of the hijacking remain murky, but passengers voted to try to retake control of the plane, and fought the hijackers for six minutes before it crashed into a field near Indian Lake and Shanksville, PA.

The U.S. Congress and a majority of the American people reacted to the 9/11 attacks with fear—covered by an unhealthy dose of bravado—passing laws expanding executive war powers and restricting civil liberties in the name of enhanced security. The Bush administration misled the country into wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Rather than adhering to international standards of the Geneva Convention, the Bush administration created an extraordinary legal status for “enemy combatants,” leading to abuses of human rights and the rule of law.

Democracy is never safe. Now we face domestic threats to the health of our democracy and international threats to established modes of conduct and treatment of civilians in war zones. PDA stands firm on the need for lawfulness at home and abroad. We never stop, we never slow down, we never give up in pursuit of peace, self-determination, and human dignity.

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