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Never Forget: Sept. 12

Douglas Lute

By Douglas Lute (original source The New York Times)

“Americans will always remember Sept. 11, 2001. Fifteen years later, the feelings of confusion, shock and loss from the deadly attack on our country are still vivid. But the next day, Sept. 12, 2001, was also historic. That was the day America’s staunchest allies stood with us in solidarity, ready to respond in America’s time of need. It was the day when our then 18 NATO allies invoked, for the first and only time in history, Article 5 of the Washington Treaty, the clause that declares that an attack on one nation is an attack on all.

When the treaty was signed in Washington 52 years earlier by the United States and 11 other nations, Europe lay devastated by the second world war in a generation. Article 5 provided Europe an insurance policy against yet another world war and domination by the Soviet Union. The hope was that Article 5 would deter conflict, but the assumption was that if it were ever invoked, the United States would again come to Europe’s defense.”

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