Today is a day to reflect upon a national tragedy; here’s an excellent article featuring three very different but equally moving perspectives. But every day since has been a day to try and understand what happened. Our book, The Rhetoric of Terror, explores an important aspects of this quest for wisdom. Marc Redfield proposes the notion of virtual trauma to describe the cultural wound that this name-date both deflects and relays. In the second half of the book, Redfield examines the historical and philosophical infrastructure of the notion of war on terror.