Discovering who we are

Steve LeSueur

On Dec. 7, 1942, President Roosevelt held no ceremonies nor made any special proclamations to note the one-year anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The president was a man who looked forward, not backward, and his main focus at the time was the war effort, according to Bob Clark, an archivist at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.

The one-year anniversary of Sept. 11 will be markedly different. There will be ceremonies, speeches and special events ? a very public replay of the day's tragic events. Amid the grieving, America will celebrate the heroism and hope.

Undoubtedly, the ability of modern media to bring the terrorist attacks into our offices and homes ? and to transmit the intimate, final statements of many who were killed ? have seared the events into our national consciousness. But we also will do more than simply look back. The day's memorial events will enable us to take a measure of our progress, to assess what's changed and how far we have to go to ensure that such events don't happen again.

This issue of Washington Technology is devoted to just that: assessing change and progress. Throughout these pages, we examine the dramatic changes that have occurred during the past year in the government marketplace, among workers, in technology solutions and among Washington's policy-makers to get a better understanding of where we're heading.

In doing so, I think we also get a better understanding of who we are.

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