The Times They Are a Changing
It is impossible to find words that adequately convey how fundamentally the world changed on a sunny morning 19 years ago September 11, 2001.
However, many of us will never forget precisely where we were the moment we heard about the events unfolding in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania. A pair of commercial airliners had crashed into the World Trade Center, a third hit the Pentagon and a fourth was flown into a rural field after passengers battled hijackers bent on using the aircraft to kill many more people.
The consequence of the worst attack on the United States since Pearl Harbor was instantly apparent. America was about to change in myriad ways.
The loss of life was staggering. The transformation of our lives was sweeping. We knew it instantly.
Nineteen years later, the change has been every bit as profound and enduring as anticipated. Enhanced surveillance and security measures adopted in the aftermath of the attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people have become entrenched. The federal bureaucracy was overhauled and expanded to identify and thwart potential threats, with the Department of Homeland Security overseeing the mission.
Sept. 11, 2001, is no longer an emotional touchstone for most members of the military. The newest recruits were not even born when the twin towers fell. Veterans who are leaving the force today after a few hitches might not even have been teenagers when the attacks happened.
However, for those of us who felt the loss on that horrific day, it still feels like yesterday. The emotion of anger, the total destruction, the loss of life, the badly injured, the anxiety, the depression , all these things still weigh heavy in our minds and hearts.
Now we face a different challenge as we battle an even more dangerous foe. The unseen foe of COVID-19. A more deadly force that has claimed the lives of 194,000 people in our nation and infected over six million.
While 9-11 will never be forgotten, we must press forward as a nation, and take up each battle as they occur with a mindset bent on defeating the unseen as well as the visable. We cannot deny our enemies, nor treat them as if they don’t exist. Our country is at a crossroad, with political battles at the center and many wondering which direction to turn.
Our focus should be on winning the virus battle, developing a vacine, spending our time, energy, and resources to ensure every American citizen has the full support of our leaders in defeating the enemy.
As we move forward as a nation it is imperative that we remember the wars of the past, yet turn our energies towards uniting the nation as one, with the goal of protecting , and serving, in the best interest of the nation as a whole. And if that means putting politics aside, it must be done if freedom is to continue to reign as our theme.