Nine-year memories

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A South Marion Citizen editorial

By The Staff

The New York morning was bright and beautiful. Visibility was clear for miles. On this Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001, people hustled and bustled to get to work. Those at home were relaxing to the early morning news shows, or getting ready to perform other routine activities.

Suddenly, the world of most Americans was shattered. Bulletins started flooding the airwaves about a plane hitting the World Trade Center. Then, while the world watched live, a second jet smashed into another tower at the New York City landmark. And with that, everyone knew it was no accident. The nation was under attack.

Before the morning was over, another plane would strike the Pentagon, and a fourth would crash in a Pennsylvania field as the passengers rebelled against the terrorists and prevented another D.C. building, probably the Capitol, from being smashed by a jet. But even more tragic, two World Trade Center towers would collapse, taking thousands to their deaths.

The attacks ushered in a new era of security.

On one hand we have the people who point out that there have been no major attacks on U.S. soil since then. They note that terrorist cells have been broken up before they could act. As recently as two weeks ago, two men were detained in the Netherlands after they boarded a plane and sent their luggage on a different flight. In that luggage were some harmless materials made to look like bombs. Some suggest it was a “dry run.” It didn’t work. They were caught. So the security is working.

But on the other hand we have those who say that we have given up too many of our freedoms, meaning, as they say, that the terrorists won. They have damaged our way of life. You used to be able to walk your loved ones to the gate to the airplane; now, only passengers can go through security and approach the gates. Many say that security has gotten too intrusive.

Every time we hear of some incident, the first thought that comes to mind now is terrorism. The least little incident at an airport, even someone accidentally forgetting a bag, sets off mass evacuations and searches. You can’t even go to a baseball game or enter your own courthouse without extensive checks.

So where do we stand after nine years? The man believed to be one of the masterminds, Osama bin Laden, is still slinking from cave to cave, avoiding capture. Nine years, and we haven’t been able to grab him. With all the technology available, you would think he would be in shackles by now. We quickly found, captured and watched Saddam Hussein die, but he wasn’t a big part of 9-11.

There are constant threats against the welfare of all Americans, especially those abroad. We must be vigilant, and keep these terrorist activities to a minimum. But it’s up to each individual how he or she wants to feel about the security issues. Those who avoid fear are saying to the terrorists, “See, you can’t shake us.”

Meanwhile, we can all agree on remembering those who died when the nine-year anniversary comes around on Saturday this weekend. It’s now called Patriot’s Day, and for good reason. We should be honoring our country and the people who are trying to keep us safe. And we should all hope and pray that nothing like 9-11 ever happens again in our great land.