The images are more than four-and-a-half years old: a plane hitting the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.

They are blurry, but powerful. A reminder of evil: clear and present danger then — forgotten, save for reminders like these pictures now.

But as we close in on the five-year anniversary of that horrid day, we're going to get a lot more reminders of the evil of that day. Reminders of men who used our planes against us and our own institutions that failed us.

I say, all this is good for us. It's good that we examine and better yet that we criticize.

I'm just hoping it's all to the same end: that it not happen again.

I'm not smart enough to say collecting phone records is a way to do that now. I just wonder if having done so, we might have prevented what happened then.

There was a lot of talk about chatter then, but we didn't connect the dots.

I'm told a lot of chatter now, but we're trying to connect the dots.

It's odd that these images hit our senses as this debate over freedoms hits our headlines.

I'm glad we're shouting about it. I'm frankly glad we're alive to do anything about it. I just hope we learn something from it, so as not to ever, ever, repeat it.

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