Remembering the lessons of 9/11

By John Keller

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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The Mil & Aero Bloggers

John Keller is editor-in-chief of Military & Aerospace Electronics magazine, which provides extensive coverage and analysis of enabling electronic and optoelectronic technologies in military, space, and commercial aviation applications. A member of the Military & Aerospace Electronics staff since the magazine's founding in 1989, Mr. Keller took over as chief editor in 1995.

Ernesto Burden is the publisher of PennWell’s Aerospace & Defense Media Group, including Military & Aerospace Electronics, Avionics Intelligence and Avionics Europe.  He’s a father of four, a runner, and an avid digital media enthusiast with a deep background in the intersection of media publishing, digital technology, and social media. He can be reached at ernestob@pennwell.com and on Twitter @aero_ernesto.

Courtney E. Howard, as executive editor, enjoys writing about all things electronics and avionics in PennWell’s burgeoning Aerospace and Defense Group, which encompasses Military & Aerospace Electronics, Avionics Intelligence, the Avionics Europe conference, and much more. She’s also a self-proclaimed social-media maven, mil-aero nerd, and avid avionics geek. Connect with Courtney at Courtney@Pennwell.com, @coho on Twitter, and on LinkedIn.

Mil & Aero Magazine

February 2014
Volume 25, Issue 2
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