September 11 is more than a memorial day for the thousands who perished, including a friend of this writer, a passenger on American Airlines flight 77, the Pentagon plane. Potential victims might also observe what has not happened on September 11 in the following 12 years.
Given the magnitude of the attacks, American leaders would have been justified in using the anniversary to launch major strikes on terrorists and their national sponsors, a target-rich environment. While the United States held back, terrorists did not hesitate to exploit the anniversary of their greatest victory.
During 2012 Islamists prepared an attack on U.S. diplomats in Libya, where the United States had helped overthrow Muammar Qaddafi. The terrorists cleverly front-loaded a story that this was all part of widespread protests against an Internet movie trailer about Mohammed. On September 11, 2012, the Islamists attacked the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, killing four Americans, including ambassador Christopher Stevens.