Lest we forget. The year was 2001. The time was 9 in the morning on September 11. There was a series of four coordinated terrorist attacks by the Islamic terrorists on our United States.
The World Trade Center was the first target in which a plane piloted by Islamic terrorists plowed into the first Trade Center. As that building was being burned and destroyed, a second plane hit the other building. A plane hijacked by Islamic terrorists was crashed into an open field as heroic passengers challenged the terrorists who had taken over the plane and at the same time, the Pentagon was targeted by the same group.
These attacks were the single deadliest terrorist attacks in human history at that time and single incidents for firefighters, law enforcement and emergency workers. There were 2,997 victims and 19 hijackers. 412 emergency workers in New York City responded to the World Trade Center.
As word spread here in our city and county, those of us at home were glued to the TVs, watching in horror as this nightmare unfolded. We were on the phones trying to reach our loved ones anywhere and everywhere as we learned that this was all a planned attack on our beloved America and its citizens. Stunned beyond all comprehension, some of us knelt in prayer, with tears pouring down our faces. To me, it was one of the most horrible days of my life.
When we finally accepted the horrible truth that America was not immune to terrorist attacks, our American flags could be seen flying from homes, businesses, trucks, cars, anywhere we could show our loyalty to this wonderful country. But, as time goes by, the flags have come down, and 9/11 has slowly been forgotten. All those brave first responders who gave their lives and their families have been put out of sight and out of mind. How can that be in this country that God has blessed so bountifully?
I am glad that our city and county fire departments, our police and sheriff departments, our State Patrol and other first responder agencies continue to honor in memory each 9/11 those who sacrificed their lives trying to save innocent citizens. Their families live in fear every day that the same thing might occur. We must never forget, and we must never let our children and grandchildren forget that freedom does not come easy and that terrorism is real.
It is September 11—please don’t let the day go by that you don’t pause a minute and remember those who died on that horrible day 18 years ago, and plan to go to the Court Square and join our first responders in paying tribute to those who gave their lives in this horrible event all those years ago. We must never ever forget.