Why — and what — are we ‘remembering’?

The New York City skyline sometime after the construction of the World Trade Center in 1973.
The New York City skyline sometime after the construction of the World Trade Center in 1973. (Unsplash/History in HD)

… [T]he Al Qaeda leader would live to fight another day.
Fewer than 100 American commandos were on the scene with their
Afghan allies, and calls for reinforcements to launch an
assault were rejected. Requests were also turned down for U.S.
troops to block the mountain paths leading to sanctuary a few
miles away in Pakistan. The vast array of American military
power, from sniper teams to the most mobile divisions of the
Marine Corps and the Army, was kept on the sidelines. Instead,
the U.S. command chose to rely on airstrikes and untrained
Afghan militias to attack bin Laden and on Pakistan's loosely
organized Frontier Corps to seal his escape routes. On or
around December 16, two days after writing his will, bin Laden
and an entourage of bodyguards walked unmolested out of Tora
Bora and disappeared into Pakistan's unregulated tribal area.

The mountains of Tora Bora loom over a lone U.S. mine resistant ambush protected vehicle as it patrols outside the Achin District Center, Nov. 5, 2011.
The mountains of Tora Bora loom over a lone U.S. mine resistant ambush protected vehicle as it patrols outside the Achin District Center, Nov. 5, 2011. (U.S. Army/Spc. Ken Scar)
Thousands of insurrectionists scale the walls of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
Thousands of insurrectionists scale the walls of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. (Flickr/Blink O’fanaye)

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