Monday was a day of shock for America. Today there is anger.
As details of yesterday's deadly bombings at the Boston Marathon continue to filter out, it is obvious that we are still vulnerable to the cowardly terrorist attacks that are designed to kill and maim civilians. A number of the victims in yesterday's attack were young children.
In his State of the Union address to a joint session of congress on Jan. 20, 2004, President George W. Bush warned America that it was a false hope to think that the war on terror was behind us.
"Our greatest responsibility is the active defense of the American people," Bush said. "Twenty eight months have passed since Sept. 11, 2001 - over two years without an attack on American soil - and it is tempting to believe that the danger is behind us. That hope is understandable and comforting - and false."
Later in 2004, while debating John Kerry in Miami, Bush also gave us some prophetic advice about the daunting challenge in providing national security. He said that we as a free nation - and law enforcement and homeland security officials in particular - have to be right 100 percent of the time when it comes to detection, but that our enemies only have to be right once to hurt us.
Our culture changed dramatically after the 9/11 attacks, both in vigilance among average citizens on the home front threat to the sharpening of our intelligence services, which have enabled law enforcement and Homeland Security to disrupt terror cells.
But yesterday's attacks prove that there are weaknesses in that defense, cracks that allow the lone wolf or the smaller, home grown terrorist cells to fall through and go undetected. The fact that the perpetrator of Monday's attack chose a target rich, media saturated international event like Patriot's Day in Boston, one of America's most historic cities, provides evidence that this was a planned terrorist attack.
This was the first successful bombing since 2001 and although it didn't have as high a casualty count as the 9/11 attacks, the lone wolf or terror cell still achieved one of the primary objectives of international terrorism - spreading fear and panic among civilians. After 9/11, few of us imagined we would live through an attack on another major American city or once again see Americans running through the streets in panic.
On Monday afternoon in Boston, the cautious words given nine years ago by former President Bush proved prophetic. Whether it be a lone wolf or an international cell, there are many terrorists out there who hate America and everything it stands for as a free society.
They've declared war on us, and will do anything to kill as many Americans as possible, including women and children.
By Jim Zbick