7 years on, Sept. 11 is so far and yet so close





It is not a tidy anniversary this year. Seven years between that awful day and this Sept. 11, the terrorist attacks linger between the immediate, a conscious part of Americans' days, and the comfortable remove of the distant past. No longer yesterday and not yet history.

What happened seven years ago colors the country's life today. There are the two wars, of course. But in smaller ways, too: People sing"God Bless America" at the ballpark. They weigh"evil" as a campaign issue. They slip off their shoes at airport security, buy the zip-top bag for liquids and gels.

And yet there is an unmistakable distance now. No one speaks of the"new normal" anymore. All of those things are just normal.


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