Never forget

Published 9:23 am Thursday, September 10, 2009

Tomorrow (Friday) marks the eighth anniversary of the most vicious act of terrorism ever committed on the mainland of the United States.

For those of us who recall that dark day in our nation’s history, we remember exactly where we were and what we were doing when the news arrived that a commercial airliner had crashed into one of the Twin Towers in New York City.

Then came a second jolt…another jet had slammed into the other tower at the World Trade Center. Then another slammed into the Pentagon while a fourth, some say with its eventual target being the White House, crashed into a Pennsylvania field after brave passengers on that plane realized what was unfolding and overpowered the terrorists.

That one day, those horrifying moments frozen in time, forever changed the way we, as Americans, look at the world around us.

Perhaps some had never heard of Al Qaida or Osama bin Laden prior to Sept. 11, 2001. Now, everyone knows them and him and the distain they have for the American way of life.

Our national perspective changed so profoundly over a short span of a few hours on the morning of 9-11-01.

We mourned the loss of those whose lives were taken in the blink of an eye that fateful morning. We held close, both physically and in our hearts, the families of those innocent victims. Ditto for those who survived the tragedy.

We praised the efforts of those brave emergency responders who risked their own lives to save those at ground zero. Many of those responders did not make it out alive.

But through it all, this nation demonstrated a resiliency. We returned to our normal, everyday lives. Meanwhile, our anger is still there, smoldering beneath the surface, but it will not manifest itself unless the terrorists again rear their ugly heads.

Today we are in the midst of a national recession and a battle within Washington’s political arena over healthcare reform.

But no matter what issues are on our table; no matter how much we have differing opinions over what direction we need to follow; take some time tomorrow to pause and reflect over what unfolded eight years ago. We must never forget.