Nineteen years ago today, Americans watched the news in shock and horror as flames and smoke poured out of one of the World Trade Center towers after an airliner smashed into it. Was it an accident? An act of terror? The question was answered when a second airliner plowed into the second World Trade Center tower. We were under attack.
Another airliner crashed into the Pentagon, and a fourth crashed into a Pennsylvania farm field after passengers rose up to try overpower the hijackers and stop them from reaching their target.
In all, nearly 3,000 innocent people were killed in the attack. It was perpetrated by 19 members of the terrorist group Al-Qaeda, led by Osama bin Laden.
In the days that followed, the United States came together with one fierce resolve, to respond to the attack, root out and destroy those who had harmed us.
Nineteen years later we are still embroiled in the hostilities that began with an attack to oust the Taliban in Afghanistan who provided a haven for Al-Qaeda’s operations. The war spread to Iraq, and now Syria as we find it is harder to get out of a war than get into one.
And what of America’s united resolve? We are heading for an election in a country deeply polarized politically and culturally.
Let us look back, then, to Sept. 11, 2001, and remember when we looked past our divisions and disagreements and realized that beneath it all we are Americans. When we recognize that, when we come together as one people, there is little our nation cannot accomplish.