This is the anniversary of the day that had even the French saying "we are all Americans now."
I remember a baffled Polish colleague coming into my office in Warsaw with the news. I remember waiting to hear if colleagues in the WTC were safe. I remember sending messages of sympathy and support to American friends and clients.
The sense of unity we had that day has been entirely lost. Partly because of the American alliance's mishandled responses, but mostly because no envied superpower can expect sympathy for long. Anti-Americanism is back to default levels among all the usual suspects.
Today, however, the families of 2,974 innocent people are remembering their loss. As we remember with them, we should reflect on the costs of fanaticism. After eight years, perhaps our governments should also begin to reflect on how quickly we can return to peacetime levels of security. The "War on Terror" has outlasted the Second World War, though such of our enemies as have not been killed or captured skulk harmlessly in caves.
There have been huge costs to civil liberties. There has been economic damage as "security theatre" has become the bane of international travellers. Intelligence, espionage, diplomacy and clandestine military operations are the way to defeat Al Qaeda. All else is pointless show at best and political opportunism at worst.
Every day we live in continued fear, is a victory for those 19 maniacs and the evil men who sent them to their deaths. Enough.