The terrorists who carried out the massive attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, hoped for death and destruction. The bodies of 3,000-plus Americans can attest to that. But their plans to cower America and weaken our government were thwarted almost from the moment the first hijacked airliner hit. Through the tears of shock and sorrow, American citizens united in a show of unprecedented national resolve. It was an attack on the things we hold most dear — and it shook America out of an almost decade-long political schism. In Congress, planned parliamentary obstacles and committee objections were forgotten as members gathered on the Capitol’s East Steps to sing “God Bless America” — not for the cameras, but for each other. And Wal-Mart, the very model of world-wide retail efficiency, struggled to keep up with the demand for American flags as our citizens felt an urgency not seen in generations to remind each other of what unites us.