As I’ve noted before, at one point during the eleventh day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand and one, the following words rang through my head:
They deserve no mercy. Strike them down, follow them to their base and . . . and kill them, all of them, all of them! NO MERCY!
Given my tastes in TV shows, and the fact that I’m not terribly articulate on the best of days, it is therefore not surprising that my brain would seize upon these particular words of another to express my feelings at that moment.
In the storyline of “Babylon 5,” whence the above line comes, those last two (all-caps) words became the rallying cry in a long, bloody war . . . that ultimately turned out to be one big mistake. For this reason, I also found in these words not only a rallying cry, but a reminder of the need for calm, sober deliberation when considering proper responses.
I sometimes wonder which side of this dichotomy – the rallying cry or the cautionary tale – has been more prevalent during the last eleven years.
 Sort of. It’s complicated.