Thursday, September 14, 2006
Never forget victims of 9-11
I arrived at work early September 11, 2001. It started out as a normal deadline day.
But a few minutes later it turned into anything but normal.
My wife Pam called about 7:50 a.m. “A plane just hit the World Trade Center,” she said.
“What?” I asked.
“A plane crashed into the north tower of World Trade Center in New York City,” she said.
I first thought a tragic accident.
She called back a few minutes later. A second plane had struck the south tower of the World Trade Center.
“No accident,” I thought.
Ninety-two people were onboard American Airlines Flight 11 and 65 onboard United Airlines Flight 175.
At 8:30 a.m. that morning, President George Bush, speaking from Florida, pledged the United States would hunt down the guilty parties.
A few minutes later a third plane, this one American Flight 77 with 64 people onboard, crashed into the Pentagon in our nation’s capital, Washington, D.C.
Evacuations of the U.S. Capitol and the West Wing of the White House followed. The Federal Aviation Administration banned all aircraft takeoffs in the United States.
At 8:50 a.m., the south tower of the World Trade Center collapsed.
At about 9 a.m., a passenger on board United Flight 93 from Newark to San Francisco called an emergency operator and said the plane was being hijacked. It crashed about 80 miles southeast of Pittsburgh with 45 people onboard.
The north tower of the World Trade Center collapsed about 30 minutes later.
Monday of this week, we all paused, hopefully, in remembrance of 9-11, five years ago. It all seems like yesterday. The memories of that day are strong, in our minds and in our hearts.
Monday, we all prayed, hopefully, for the families of the almost 3,000 killed that dreadful day in U.S. history.
We will never forget the pictures, the people running for their lives, the screams, the tears, the anger, the rescue workers.
America was changed - forever.
The night of September 11, 2001, President Bush, back in Washington D.C., vowed to punish the “evil acts.”
His speech was one I will always remember. Here’s a portion.
“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 neighbors. Thousands of lives were suddenly ended by evil, despicable acts of terror.
“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. The 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.”
Our President prayed that those grieving and those in fear would be comforted by a greater power.
He read Psalm 23 - “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me.”
Five years later our war against terrorism continues.
We should all pray, every day, for our President, for our soldiers, for peace.
And we should pledge never to forget the awful scenes of 9-11 and more importantly the victims and their loved ones left behind.
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