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EDITORIAL: Remember those lost on 9/11 and the hero responders

The facade of one of the towers of the World Trade Center lies in ruins as workmen work in the early morning hours on Sept. 14, 2001. (GARY FRIEDMAN/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
September 10, 2023

Monday is the 22nd anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

It is likely that you remember exactly where you were and what you were doing when you first learned of the attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people as al-Qaida terrorists hijacked four passenger jetliners. Two of those planes smashed into New York’s World Trade Center, causing the twin towers to fall. Another struck the Pentagon, and a fourth crashed into a western Pennsylvania field.

As the towers collapsed there was a sense of fear and devastation, as well as anger at the perpetrator, who at the time was unknown. We watched as the courageous first responders, firefighters, police and paramedics, put their lives on the line and raced into the burning buildings to rescue those people still inside, as others rushed away.

In the days after the attack Americans came together, regardless of of race, religion, or political party. We bonded over our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, as we flew our American flags high, gave blood and attended candlelight vigils together. On the steps of the Capitol, Republican and Democrat Congress members gathered together and sang “God Bless America” as one voice. It’s a spirit we could all use a little bit more of right now.

As you go about your day on Monday, we encourage you to take a moment and honor the men, women and children who died that day and the families they left behind.

Along with remembering those we lost, it is also important to acknowledge the brave first responders who raced into the building that day and those who worked tirelessly at the site in the days after, searching for victims. If you know a first responder, let them know how much their dedication and hard work is appreciated. They may not have been in New York, Washington D.C. or Pennsylvania that day, but they work tirelessly to keep us safe.

Lastly, we should honor the men and women in military uniform, who were sent to Afghanistan to bring our enemy to justice.

Fourteen years ago, President Obama urged Americans to mark Sept. 11 as a National Day of Service and Remembrance. On this day Americans across the country are called to volunteer in their local communities in tribute to the individuals lost and injured in the attacks, first responders, and the many who have risen to service to defend freedom.

It’s up to all of us to keep that spirit alive.


(c) 2023 South Platte Sentinel

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