Remembering the lessons of 9/11
Posted by John Keller
Today is September 11, 2009. It was eight years ago this morning -- in about 25 more minutes as I write this -- that we as a nation gathered, horrified, around television sets to watch as one of the World Trade Center towers burned in New York City.
All we knew at that moment was that some sort of airplane hit the edifice. There were whispers of terrorism, but no one knew for sure. Terrorism? That stuff happened in faraway countries, usually in the Middle East. It had to be an accident.
Then we watched, dumbstruck, as yet another airplane hit the second tower, engulfing them both in flames. Then we knew. This was no accident; we were under attack. We didn't know by whom. We just knew it was happening.
I remember so well that morning sitting with my colleagues in the office lunchroom -- some in tears, others with faces contorted in anger, but most silent and in shock.
Those were the last moments of the Old World, before Iraq, Afghanistan, al-Qaida, and American flags sprouting from motorcycles and car antennas. Life was different then. No global war on terror, no IEDs, no surge, no Remember the Troops signs in villages and towns -- just a new president who had come out of a close, contentious election.
Today, however, we know. There's an enemy out there that would dearly love to do it all again ... that wants to kill us as Americans, because we are Americans. The fight isn't over. I don't know when it will be -- if it ever will be -- but we must remain vigilant and on our guard.
We cannot let the lessons of 9/11 be forgotten. Today, of all days, please remember.
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