Newspaper stories continue to appear regarding an "ongoing investigation" as the days wear on. We may even hear about additional suspects being apprehended or new twists to the evil plot. But the buzz is now fading. The news articles grow shorter and less frequent until they disappear. People go back to watching "Dancing with the Stars" and talking about the newest iPhone.
What can we do, after all? Nobody wants another Iraq War, we say to each other over drinks at happy hour. No, of course not. But what we sometimes forget is that we may not have a choice in the matter. In fact, it is becoming increasingly obvious that we don't have a choice. We have an enemy that means business. Until we mean the same back at them, we are all in grave peril.
Finally, about ten days to two weeks after the terrorist attack, we have returned fully to "normal," listening to presidential candidates hurl insults at each other, fretting over gas prices, looking forward to weekend sports. As attention ebbs away from the latest international scene of death and devastation, the Islamic terrorists press quietly ahead with their plans for the next attack on Western civilization.
As we continue our rituals of complacent reaction, there is no doubt that one day, the candlelight vigils will be for us or our loved ones. It has been so already, in both Paris and Brussels.