It has been nine years since September 11, 2001. It has been that amount of time since terrorist attacks on the United States killed 2,974 of our fellow Americans. 2,603 died at the World Trade Center, 246 passengers died in the airplane crashes, and finally 125 people died at the Pentagon.
Most of these people were just going about their daily lives, working in an office, preparing and selling food, or piloting a jumbo jet on what started out as a routine flight. However, for 403 of those killed, they were answering a call to duty as emergency responders. 403 firefighters, EMTs, and law enforcement officers were killed because they were brave enough to run into the inferno as survivors were running away.
Remember where you were and what you were doing when you first heard the news of the attack on our nation. That moment should be burned into our collective memory just as Pearl Harbor was for the generation before mine. On September 11, 2001 it was almost unthinkable that some rag tag bunch could attack America with such effectiveness and impunity. Box cutters and jumbo jets can indeed be used as weapons of terror. Since that date, much has changed for Americans. We have lost our sense of invulnerability as well as some privacy. Our travel is now scrutinized by x-ray machines, bomb dogs, serious armed officers, and by pointed questions about our travel plans. After September 11, 2001, we took the fight to the enemy and as a result, America has not suffered another attack on our soil.
As Americans, we cannot allow ourselves to become complacent, unconcerned, and disconnected from the fact that terrorists killed 2,974 innocent people on 9-11-01 on American soil. These terrorists wanted to make a statement about America’s lack of resolve, lack of willpower, and inability to respond to prevent future attacks. America cannot let these people win.
On Patriot Day, September 11, I invite you to remember that we are indeed still at war with an enemy that will not rest, that will not accept surrender, and that will not stop trying to bring more harm to America. Our Emergency Responders are ready, our Military Forces are fighting the enemy daily, and we as civilians need to be ready to do our part by showing the enemy that America does indeed have the willpower to resist.
God Bless America!
Rex Fields, Eastland County Judge