On September 11, 2001 the United States of America was attacked. We were attacked physically and intimately. We lost over 3,000 people, including more than 400 emergency response heroes. People jumped to their deaths. People were burned and buried alive. Through the suicide attacks on America, al-Qaeda thought that America would fall apart; that we would turn against each other and become even more vulnerable; and that America would lie down and surrender to them. This was a retaliation attack; one that did not accomplish all objectives.
Through these difficult and trying times, through losing so many loved ones, and through seeing four airliners being hijacked and flown into buildings and an empty field, America has come together. We have picked up the pieces and moved on with our lives. We have increased our strength; we have learned from this. America will never lie down and surrender to anyone.
These terrorists attacked our World Trade centers with the anticipation that this would crash our economy. It did not. The third plane was flown into the Pentagon with the hopes of disabling our military. It did not. The fourth plane was interrupted by the brave passengers who had heard of the other hijackings prior to take off because of a delay in the flight schedule.
The 45 brave men and women on the fourth plane that crashed into the empty field in Pennsylvania at 10:10 am on 9/11/2001 are heroes. They successfully stopped the terrorists from hitting their intended target, which is speculated to be one of a few crucial buildings, including the White House. While every one of those brave men and women died, they did so while saving other lives.
I have not met a single person, including myself, who doesn’t know exactly where they were and what they were doing when they heard about this horrific attack on our country.
Twin Memorial pools have been erected in the spot where the twin towers once stood and the names of all 3,000 men, women, and children who died that day are inscribed in bronze parapets surrounding these twin ponds. There are nine sections where these names are inscribed so that the names of loved ones, of employees, and of heroes can be placed together in a meaningful way for special remembrance. Among these names are also the victims of the February 26, 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of websites dedicated to the attack on 9/11/2001. These sites include stories of those who have fallen; stories of families and friends who have to live without their loved ones and how they have moved on; stories of how specific individuals passed away, where they were trapped, and even of those who made it out alive; stories of memories and memorials; and stories of what could have been. There are thousands of pictures and hundreds of videos of that day through the eyes of thousands of onlookers. It’s difficult to read and look at some of these stories, pictures, and videos without having a strong emotional response.
In loving remembrance of our loved ones, and in remembrance of why we live in this great nation.