Posted 9/12/18 (Wed)
By Neal A. Shipman
Time has a way of diminishing significant events that have happened in the past and the profound impacts that those events have had on people’s lives. But while time may march on that doesn’t mean that what happened in the past should be forgotten.
As a country, the United States has a calendar full of important dates - from Independence Day to Memorial Day and Veterans Day that need to be remembered. But there is also another day in America’s history that should never be forgotten. That day is Sept. 11, 2001.
Like the date of Dec. 7, 1941, when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor and propelled the United States’ entry into World War II, 9/11 is a day that began America’s war on terrorism. While World War II ended on Aug. 14, 1945, the war on terrorism is still being fought around the world.
On that fateful day 17 years ago, 19 terrorists associated with al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden hijacked four U.S. commercial airplanes and flew two of them into New York City’s World Trade Center twin towers and one into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. Passengers on the fourth plane crashed into a field near Shanksville, Penn., after the passengers and crew attempted to retake control of the plane.
Much like the attack on Pearl Harbor, 9/11 reawoke in the American people the realization that freedom isn’t free. Freedom comes with a huge cost as tens of thousands of American soldiers have paid the ultimate sacrifice to ensure that people around the world have a chance at living in a free society.
And these brave American soldiers have fought for freedom in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and all around the world during World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and today in the ongoing fight against terrorism.
Why is 9/11 so important for the people of the United States to remember? Because time smooths the edges.
Today, there are millions of young Americans who were born after Sept. 11, 2001. They don’t remember seeing the burning twin towers collapsing to the ground with thousands of people trapped inside. They didn’t see the horrific photos of the fire fighters, police officers, ambulance crews and other volunteers navigating through the piles of wreckage looking for survivors.
And they don’t remember the raw fear that every American had that if this could happen in New York City, Washington, D.C. or in Pennsylvania, it could happen anywhere.
America must never stop remembering 9/11. And more importantly we must never forget that freedom doesn’t come cheap.