Let's Never Forget

I must admit that this one snuck up on me. The 11th anniversary of 9/11 hit me between the eyes watching Today this morning. The replays of the first plane slashing through the hull of Tower 1 and the realization we were under attack when the second plan pierced Tower 2 brought back the range of emotions I know we all felt. However, I am embarrassed that I didn’t awaken today knowing that today was September 11th. Somehow, this 11th anniversary has become as important to many as their 41st or 51st birthday. The 10th memorial last year brought us network specials, magazine cover stories, and national consciousness. Like the birthday following a major mile market like turning 40, I must admit I hadn’t even thought about the importance of today.

Our country was irreparably changed that sunny, September morning. I don’t need to pontificate because many more have expressed my thoughts much more eloquently than I ever could. However, I want us to always remember salient facts from that day. First, the visions of fireman, policemen, and Port Authority first responders rushing into that cauldron of hell as others were pouring out. Certainly they knew that their mission of rescuing others would eventually mean they would pay the ultimate sacrifice. Would you run into a burning building to save strangers as your commanders were telling you to withdraw? Can you honestly say that you would pay that price? For them, we must never forget.

The actions chosen by Al-Qaeda that day not only led to the deaths of nearly 3,000 people in NYC, DC, and Shanksville, PA, but also to the deaths of over 6400 US military personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan fighting with the mission to destroy them before they destroy us. Most of these soldiers were teenagers or young adults not older than my 19 year old son or 22 year old daughter. They gave everything before they had the chance to enjoy much of what freedom renders.

For me, September 11th should be held in the highest of esteem for two reasons. First, a war was brought to us, and this war will be fought indefinitely as long as there are Islamic extremist organizations is this world. On that day, the wheels were set in motion to change the lives of nearly 10,000 families who lost mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, children, and friends. Second, the spirit and bravery of America was demonstrated in so many ways on that day and in the years that followed as ultimate sacrifices were paid to eradicate those who fight for our demise. I promise to never enter another September 11th without paying the proper reverence to those anonymous heroes that gave so much. And unfortunately we are in a fight that, not of our choosing, but one we cannot lose. Let us as a nation never forget because, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” George Santayana, The Life of Reason.

 

Source for statistical data: Wikipedia.com

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.