Like our forefathers who remembered where they were on the day we were attacked at Pearl Harbor, most of us have a memory of what we were doing and where we were, when the United States was under attack on September 11, 2001. Like the day on December 7th, 9/11 will forever live in infamy.
On a day far removed from today, Japan, a nation state attacked the United States without warning on a clear December morning on December 7th. Japan, had awakenend a sleeping giant by their unprovoked act of war that December morning. The attack on Pearl Harbor was an attack on all Americans that caused the United States to enter World War II. The empire of Japan was our enemy. The attack on Pearl was just a part of the overall offensive of the Japanese in the following days. The world was at war and we were in it until the United States and her allies had succeeded in gaining the unconditional surrender of the Japanese.
On a clear day, that September 11, two domestic aircraft were used by members of al Qaeda to target civilians by attacking the twin towers of New York City. In an act of unspeakable horror, around 3000 people of different walks of life died that day. And hundreds have died and continue to die from the air that they breathed as a result of the attack to this day. A nation did not attack the United States. A group of criminals attacked not only the city of New York but the Pentagon and were responsible for the hijacked airplane that went down in Pennsylvania that morning as well. Al Qaeda was responsible for the attack. They came from terrorist training camps in Afghanistan harbored by the Taliban. Their murderous act that morning was the single greatest loss of life that the United States has ever suffered.
How did President Bush and America react to the attack upon America?
Our immediate response was to find out who was responsible for the attack and to seek out members of al Qaeda and destroy them in their sanctuaries in Afghanistan. We have been successful in our efforts to destroy Al Qaeda. As a result those remaining members of that organization are in hiding around the world, with an ever declining influence and with an ever declining ability to commit acts of violence. Pakistan still protects them from being successfully apprehended and killed. Our efforts against al Qaeda continue and they will continue as long as the organization exists. It took years but the United States and President Obama found the leader of al Qaeda, Bin Laden, and killed him. His death was met with joy.
What America has done in Iraq boggles the mind. We used the false notion that somehow Saddam Husein was involved in the attack on 9/11 to start a war in Iraq. The war was started based upon false pretenses and lies. Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with the attack on 9/11 and there were no weapons of mass destruction to be found. Historians will be writing about the causes of the Iraq war for years. The fact is that we took our eye off of the actual enemy, al Qaeda, to go into Iraq. Al Qaeda was the enemy and not Saddam Hussein.
Today, we will hear the names of each victim being read, and we will experience several moments of silence to commemerate the lives of those who lost their lives on 9/11. What we should take from the memories of that horrible day some 15 years ago, is the loss of life, the senseless loss of life. Each person who died was important, each person was someone’s loved one. We should remember forever those emergency responders who gave up their lives selfessly. We still have victims of that day who breathed the toxic air that the day left us. We should also remember those who were injured and those who have survived from that days tragedies. It is not easy to be a survivor. One can not imagine the pain and suffering that those who were injured have gone through in their efforts to get better. Each life matters who was touched by the tragedy of that awful day.
It is a somber day, a day of remembrance. Lest we forget!