Always Remember – Never Forget

Posted: September 9, 2012 in GWOT
Tags: , , , , , ,

The Flag of Honor is comprised of the names of the fallen from September 11, 2001

Eleven years ago this Tuesday, the most heinous act of terrorism ever committed against the United States was perpetrated by 19 terrorists who hijacked four airplanes with the intent of flying them into significant American symbols.  The objective of the masterminds behind the plan was to crush the resolve of the American government and demonstrate to their extremist allies that America and the Western nations of the world were impotent to do anything about it.  They achieved their short-term tactical objectives and managed to crash three of the aircraft into symbols of America’s might.  The two flights that crashed into the World Trade Center complex destroyed thousands of lives beyond those killed directly in the attack.  The attack on the Pentagon did the same.  Buildings were destroyed, our resolve challenged and America was brought to a standstill as thousands of flights were grounded and forced to land immediately.  Our economy, which was attacked in the destruction of the World Trade Center complex, hiccuped as the private organizations and government agencies responsible for it moved into recovery mode.

In what should have been a foretelling of the years to come for Al Qaeda, the brave people on board Flight 93 were not satisfied with what appeared to be another notch in the terrorists gun.  They instead fought back, attempting to wrest control of the aircraft from the terrorists.  The brave sacrifice of the people on Flight 93 resulted in their crashing into a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvannia, rather than hitting their unknown ultimate goal.  The flight path of the plane would have taken it to the Washington, D.C. area.  The brave sacrifice of the passengers, epitomized by the phrase “Lets Roll!” was a demonstration of resolve and sacrifice.  The bravery of the passengers, thousands of first responders and volunteers in the days, weeks, months and now years, during and in the aftermath of the attacks is the foundation for our Global War on Terror.

As we approach the 11 year anniversary of 9/11 and not long after our war in Afghanistan, public opinion has waxed and waned on our involvement in the country.  There have been numerous reasons as to why this may be the case, that however is something we will never be able to settle.  What we can do, however, is on 9/11 take a moment to remember those lost on that day and since.  We can remember the feeling we had as we watched the attacks happen, we should all remember what we were doing on that day and how we felt.  It is an indelible part of our lives, and it was the day that an organization, not a country or state actor, declared war on us and our way of life.

There are many who feel that after 11 years we should already have moved forward as a nation, sitting back on our hindquarters waiting for the next attack to happen.  Some feel that the death of Bin Laden last year should be symbolic of the end of the war on terror and is indicative of the fall of Al Qaeda as an effective terrorist organization.  We have moved away from teaching our children history as it actually happened, even the ugly warts sitting beneath the surface, and instead have embraced the media driven soft soaping and political party obfuscation.  It is a rare day when the horrific images of that day are shown publicly, as they were in the aftermath.  Instead, you generally only see them in the days before and after the anniversary.  We owe to our children and future generations to teach them what happened on that day, and if possible the events that led up to it.  They deserve the truth, pure and unadulterated, not the history that has been written by the victors of the political sentiment of the day.

Take a few moments this Tuesday and remember, as an American, what you were doing and how you felt.  Remember those who died that day and know that no matter how imperfect or unpleasant it may seem, that there is a line of people out there doing their best to keep the fight where the enemy really is and off our shores.  Eleven years of sacrifice should serve as a lesson of American resolve and the truly heavy price our “freedom” comes at.

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