Like just about everyone in New York City, I’ve been thinking a lot about the events of five years ago.
For me, tied in my mind to the day of September 11, 2001, was a day a month later, in October. I was in the middle of my research on Winston Churchill, for my book Forty Ways to Look at Winston Churchill.
As I was reading some of Churchill's speeches, I saw that on September 11, 1940, Churchill gave a broadcast about the “Blitz,” the brutal nightly bombing of London.
One of the most striking things about New York City in the period after the attack on the World Trade Center was that, despite the shock and devastation, there was a tremendous mood of morale and determination.
Churchill’s words seemed to have been written for our own circumstances.
These cruel, wanton, indiscriminate bombings of London are, of course, a part of Hitler’s invasion plans. He hopes, by killing large numbers of civilians, and women and children, that he will terrorise and cow the people of this mighty imperial city, and make them a burden and anxiety to the Government…Little does he know the spirit of the British nation, or the tough fibre of the Londoners…who have been bred to value freedom far above their lives. This wicked man, the repository and embodiment of many forms of soul-destroying hatred, this monstrous product of former wrongs and shame, has now resolved to try to break our famous Island race by a process of indiscriminate slaughter and destruction. What he has done is to kindle a fire in British hearts, here and all over the world, which will glow long after all traces of the conflagration he has caused in London have been removed.