The whole world is shocked and mortified at Tuesday’s events. The bodies of our dead cry out from beneath tons of rubble for answers. Americans nationwide demand blood, calling for immediate and overwhelming action by our government to bring the masterminds of this tragedy to justice.

But Tuesday’s events beg the question: why were we taken so completely by surprise?

For years, America has been preparing to deal with terrorist threats. Nuclear, biological and chemical attacks have been anticipated, threatened and planned against. Billions are spent and countless man-hours are exhausted in the defense of our nation.

Was a domestic air attack really so incomprehensible?

Most people are currently focused on revenge and retaliation. Most people are screaming for the blood of our foes. But what about preventing a tragedy like this from ever happening again? What are we going to do to prevent the next attack.

If these people were able to hijack that many planes with such clockwork precision, what is to stop them from carrying out other horrible acts against the American people? What is to stop them from simple bombings, kidnappings and other suicide attacks?

Decades ago, air travel was as hazardous as hitchhiking on the interstate. News agencies would run stories almost daily about airlines being hijacked by various extremist groups and flown to Cuba or Libya.

A decade ago, threats like this were credible and very, very possible.

Yet, most American can only recall two acts of domestic terrorism. The Oklahoma City bombing and first attack against the Twin Towers in 1993.

Why wasn’t an attack of this magnitude foreseen by our government? How much time, money and training had to go into an operation of this magnitude? Why were we not defended against this blow to our national pride and sense of security?

We as a people need to realize we are no longer a secular nation, separated from world events by two wide oceans and a separatist ideology. We are members of a world community and subject to the price that world membership carries with it.

For years, politicians and social progressives have claimed we should not spend so much for defense. Base closings, a reduced military and shrinking defense budget have resulted in an America no longer able to project its might or defend its borders.

It is time for America to realize the world is a dangerous place to live. There are people who do not like us, envy our privileges and luxuries, and blame us for their misfortunes.

We must realize, with freedom comes a price.