So here we are, at the end of a week-long festival of sackcloth and ashes over 9/11. Not to belittle the actual event, mind you--I'm talking about the media trying to reopen a national wound 3,000 people deep.
After all that has been done since that day, are we safer? Perhaps marginally. In reality, not really. The next time won't be airliners flying into buildings; they'll figure something else big and showy to do. We have to be right every time to prevent it; they only have to be right once to do it. Eventually, we'll fail.
We're definitely given up a lot of our rights. Homeland (In)Security, "Patriot" Acts I & II and a host of other laws, plus the nature of a people who are seemingly happy to become sheep have ensured that.
I remember telling a coworker on September 12, 2001 that if we were not very careful, we would do far more damage to ourselves than any terrorists ever could.
I take no pleasure in being proven correct.