On this day 17 years ago, thousands of innocent people rose from their beds and began preparations for work.
There was no imminent danger sensed, no pause about what the day may bring, no concerns about basic survival.
There were others who rose that morning with insidious plans to attack the United States, to inflict as much loss of life and damage as they could. They already knew that survival was not a goal, they knew their only goal was to kill as many Americans as possible.
Any loss of life to this extent in one moment is heartbreaking, especially when we are talking thousands…2,996 to be exact.
Consider these Texas cities, each with a population between 2800-3000; Fairview, Nash, West, and Electra. In just a one day, a series of planned and executed attacks removed 2,996 souls from this earth. The equivalent of the entire population of one of these towns disappearing in a matter of hours.
There are now young men and women who were not even born, or so young that they have no memory of this attack.
Frankly, it may be difficult for anyone to understand what people faced that day, as they can only read history books and archives.
We need to remember this attack to understand and acknowledge that there are people out there right now who want to cause harm to the United States.
Terrorists have changed their tactics and will continue to change tactics. There may be people already in our country, using our own freedoms to advance our downfall. We are not a police state and as an open society, our security challenges are huge.
Please pause today and remember 2,996 people who perished that day.
Remember the 343 firemen, 61 police officers, and 8 medics.
Remember all the families, co-workers and friends of those who died, only because they went to work.
As Americans, we battle through adversity. Whatever the divisions that may exist or the differing opinions, Americans quickly help others, even putting lives on the line to help. Citizens became instant hero’s that day because that is what Americans do. After the initial shock and dismay of the attack, we really became the UNITED States of America.
The enormity of that day changed us. That day changed our sense of security. That day hurt.
Don’t lose sight of the significance of that day.