Today marks the twelfth anniversary of September 01, 2001. It is not a day to be celebrated as is the case with many anniversaries, rather a day to reflect on what has or has not changed in our fragile world.
America, the most powerful country in the world, got a wake-up call from a group of fanatic, radical terrorist. Using symbols of our freedom, the airliners, to attack symbols of our capitalism, the towers, and symbols of our democracy, the pentagon (and quite possibly the white house).
The attack successfully brought the U.S. and surrounding nations into panic mode. Flights were diverted, grounded, or aborted. Aircraft running low on fuel were forced to land in Canada, as aircraft heavy laden with fuel were sent to dump their fuel to achieve safe landing conditions. The president, who was reading to school children in Florida, was whisked off in Air Force 1 to seek shelter. First responders risked life and limb attempting to save as many lives as possible. Brave men and women sacrificed their own lives to crash an aircraft in a field rather than permitting the terrorist to succeed in hitting another target.
More than three thousand died that day. Mothers lost children. Children lost parents. Families were ripped apart. As I listened to radio I felt helpless. Unable to do anything, but listen and pray.
Since then the U.S. has been in multiple conflicts overseas. Bin Laden and Hussein are dead. Many American forces lost their lives in these conflicts, many more returned home physical and/or mentally scarred for the remainder of their lives.
People in the middle east have been fighting each other for thousands of years. Today they still fight. There are, and always will be, radical extremist hell-bent on bringing down the U.S. Twelve years of fighting did not put an end to the hatred. As long as there exists prejudices there will be hatred.
Please remember September 11th as the hell it truly was. Keep our guard up. Continue to enjoy our freedom, it truly is not free.