Just as we always will remember the audacious attack that occurred on September 11, I can never forget the grim voice of the radio announcer who interrupted the regular programming on December 7 to report the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor.
The next day, a shocked public, glued to the radio, heard President Roosevelt deliver his now-famous words: "Yesterday, December 7, 1941a date which will live in infamythe United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan."
Back then, we relied on the papers and the radio for our news of the day. Throughout the war years, the airwaves were a vital communication link between the president and the public. Even in the darkest days, his "fireside chats" brought people together and gave them reason to believe that democracy would prevail.
But, despite the temptation, Americans must not compare what was then with what is now. We knew who the enemy was. Today, we are dealing with suicidal, shadowy terroristsreportedly financed by Osama bin Ladenwho operate out of small, independent cells and live in such-places as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran or Lebanon's Bekaa Valley. Their ability to move around the globe with comparative ease is frightening.
So what can we do? Everything possible, whatever the cost.
What can we do? Everything possible, whatever the cost.