No, I'm still not really over it.
Yes, the passage of time helps out with perspective. The world did not actualy change much that day. Our perception of it did, though. We did some things in response to it that in retrospect seem like panic and seem like they weren't really warranted. And the degree of fear we allowed ourselves to feel has not proven justified by events subsequent. (Perhaps to some degree, the lack of further similar attacks on us has been to the credit of our government's efforts to protect us; we'll likely never really know one way or the other.)
But that does not mean that this day, seven years ago, was unimportant or insignificant. We were reminded, forcefully and with a price paid in blood, that there are people out there who hate us and want to kill us. Their hatred comes from religious differences, jealousy of our wealth and power, and the fact that our prominence around the world makes us an easy and effective target against whom the dispossessed of other worlds can be rallied. In other words, we were reminded that we have enemies.
It is the duty of our government to hunt down those enemies and neutralize them.
I say "neutralize" rather than "kill" because it is not always necessary that they die in order to be rendered impotent. But I'm not taking "kill" off the table.
We in no way invited, encouraged, or deserved what happened. We in no way justified that attack by anything we did or said, even if we have done or said things that are not justifiable themselves. The people who died that day especially were in no way guilty of or complicit in the causes of their deaths. They were, in every way, the victims of a dastardly and unprovoked attack. Their deaths were an affront to us all as a nation -- an affront to the civilized world in general. As a nation, we were and are and continue to be justified in finding the people reponsible and bringing them to justice.
I am critical of the Administration at times. I have grown critical of the war in Iraq. I am frustrated that the masterminds behind the attacks on our country are still at large. But let there be no doubt -- there are evil people in the world and as a general rule, they stand in opposition to the United States rather than with us or within our own ranks.
The picture above is still terrifying, and deeply saddening, even now that several years have passed. But it occurs to me that we shouldn't forget how we all felt that day. I think you should still feel the same way when you see a reminder like that. There is a chance that one day, somehow, you'll have the opportunity to find someone responsible. Or someone who would do something like it to us to to our friends or other innocent people again. And maybe you'll have the opportunity to do something about it. And in that moment, you should remember how you felt on September 11, 2001.