Sunday, Oct. 7, 2001:
This morning our country went to war. The flags are waving, the special announcements are being broadcast, the targets are named, the missiles are launched. It's the moment we've been waiting for: our wounded nation striking back in righteous fury.
I have been waiting all day for the rush, the adrenaline of uneasy excitement. I should be gnashing my teeth, riveted to my television, jacked up with fear and rage.
Instead, I feel weary. I feel hollow and old and sad. Instead of adrenaline, I feel anesthesia setting in. Six thousand deaths were enough for me. I'll have to go numb to bear more.
I hate the Taliban, I hate Osama bin Laden. I hate Mohamed Atef, the Egyptian policeman they say planned the whole thing, and for the dead hijackers I feel a horror beyond hate. They say that the bombs we're dropping will punish these people and those who support them. Maybe they will - while punishing thousands of others.
If punishment were what I felt was most important, perhaps I could share in the grim patriotic fervor of this moment. But I care about keeping people safe, about making the world a better place to live, about protecting the values America claims to cherish.
I feel a sorrowful certainty that this war will do the opposite - will decrease life, decrease liberty, decrease the perennially endangered and quixotic quantity we call happiness.
On Sept. 11, I wept and I shook with fear. I sat before my television, my brain buzzing with a constant question: Is it over now?
Today I am no longer on edge, for the answer is no. No, no, no, it's just begun. Somewhere still, there are people running and debris flying and children crying. It was New York; now it's another place full of innocent strangers.
I don't believe in revenge. I believe in trying to solve the problem. So don't interrupt my football game. Whatever they say, I think we've already lost.
Marion Winik is a commentator on National Public Radio's "All Things Considered.