Saturday, September 11, 2010
Nine Years Ago, Today
Today, I want to pause for a moment and remember history. I want to remember one of the saddest days in America. I want to remember the victims. The men, women and children who were going to work or play on a day that started out like any other.
On September 11, 2001, beginning at about 8:45 am, a series of terrorist attacks destroyed the twin towers of the World Trade Center and severely damaged the Pentagon. Commercial airliners were hijacked and flown directly into the three buildings. The first crashed into the North tower at 8:45, and about 18 minutes later the second airliner hit the South tower. At about 9:40, a third airliner crashed into the Pentagon. At about 9:58, the South tower collapsed, followed by the North tower at 10:28.
Two days later a reporter wrote: “The disaster is so great that in New York we have as yet, two days later, only guesses about how many thousands of people perished when the WTC towers collapsed. ”
At the time then-President George W Bush said: “Today, our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom came under attack in a series of deliberate and deadly terrorist acts. The victims were in airplanes, or in their offices; secretaries, businessmen and women, military and federal workers; moms and dads, friends and neighbours. Thousands of lives were suddenly ended by evil, despicable acts of terror. The pictures of airplanes flying into buildings, fires burning, huge structures collapsing, have filled us with disbelief, terrible sadness, and a quiet, unyielding anger. These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat. But they have failed; our country is strong.A great people has been moved to defend a great nation. Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shattered steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve. America was targeted for attack because we’re the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world. And no one will keep that light from shining. Today, our nation saw evil, the very worst of human nature. And we responded with the best of America — with the daring of our rescue workers, with the caring for strangers and neighbours who came to give blood and help in any way they could. Immediately following the first attack"
Today, may we each take a moment to pause and remember a piece of history that we are never likely to truly forget. Where I was, and what I was doing on that day at that time is forever burned in my heart and mind. May we take a second or two to remember those who gave their lives on this day, nine years ago, as well as all those serving in the military, both here and abroad, and those who serve as firefighters and police officers in our cities today.