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September 11, 2001: Let Us Remember and Never Forget

Let us remember and never forget

Today marks the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on our country. Terrorism was brought to our homeland in the most barbaric of ways.

Let Us Remember and Never Forget

silhouette of buildings under dark sky

Almost 3,000 Americans were going about their daily routine. They went into work at the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and others were traveling across the country.

On a bright and sunny September Tuesday, these people had no idea that their lives would be taken by evil men with hatred for Americans. Some of the passengers and crew on the four planes made phone calls to loved ones, saying good-byes and leaving messages on answering machines.

For loved ones and family members, these voice recordings are what remains of their lives cut short by terrorism.

Unimaginable Horror

When the planes hit the towers, many at the point of impact died instantly. Others were trapped above the impact zone because of the intense heat and flames and structural damage to the buildings.

I can’t imagine the fear and agony of having to make the decision of dying in the raging inferno or leaping into the void 110 stories above the ground.

Some chose the latter.

Let Us Remember and Never Forget the Bravery

The FDNY recalled every firefighter in the city to respond to the WTC. They assembled in the lobby and orders were given to begin the ascent to the impact zone…on foot. The elevators were knocked out by the huge fireball of jet fuel that shot down the elevator shafts.

man walking near station 14 fire station

Some of those who were still alive evacuated both towers, making their way down stairwells that were still passable and out of the building. They passed brave firefighters, who were making their way UP, step by step. The evacuations and the ascent were painstakingly slow.

Then, the unthinkable happened. Both towers collapsed, one then the other, killing those still trying to get out of the buildings, the responding firefighters making their way up the stairwell, and those outside trying to escape the falling concrete and steel.

An unimaginable horror was viewed by the entire world that day. America was changed forever. 

Let Us Remember and Never Forget What Heroism Looks Like

Many patriotic Americans felt the need to enter military service and defend Lady Liberty. Some of those patriots did not return home from the “War on Terror”, a war that lasted an astounding 20 years.

Let us remember and never forget the lives of U.S. military service members lost over the last 20 years, who wanted to serve and to serve up justice to those responsible. This is what heroism looks like.

Let us remember and never forget the FDNY, the NYPD, the Port Authority Police, the First Responders/EMTs, the military personnel at the Pentagon. They all ran toward the calamity and the chaos to help while others tried to escape. This is what heroism looks like.

Let us remember and never forget the brave passengers of Flight 93, who made the conscious choice to fight back against the hijackers and attempt to retake the plane; to stop the terrorists from hitting their intended target-the U.S. Capitol Building.

Their actions forced the terrorist pilot to crash the plane into a field in Shanksville, PA. This is what heroism looks like.

Never Leave Anyone Behind

Let us remember and never forget Rick Rescorla. A Vietnam veteran, Mr. Rescorla was in charge of Corporate Security for Morgan Stanley-Dean Witter, which occupied 22 floors of the South Tower of the WTC. 

In response to the 1993 bombing of WTC, he designed and implemented evacuation drills for the almost 3,000 employees of Morgan Stanley.

On September 11, Mr. Rescorla coordinated the evacuation of every Morgan Stanley employee out of the South Tower. He was later seen going back up to make sure no one was left behind. He was last seen on the 10th floor. Mr. Rescorla died in the collapse of the South Tower. This is what heroism looks like.

USA flaglet

Remember, Never Forget, and Understand

Let us remember and never forget all the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, fathers, sons, mothers, and daughters, friends, and family who lost their lives. Some of the victims were in New York on business at the WTC for just that one day. 

These events should never be erased from our consciousness, nor should they be erased from the history books. Young people who were born after the attacks need to know exactly what happened, how it happened, and what our response was. 

They need to know that terrorism is real, that there are people in this world right now who wish to do harm to Americans, simply for being Americans.

Let us Remember and Never Forget the Patriotism

In the aftermath of the attacks, America came together as one nation, indivisible. 

Americans loved one another, stood together, patriotically, saluting the flag and remembering her unwavering and enduring spirit as a symbol for freedom.

We rose from the ashes like a Phoenix, steadfast and resilient. Let us remember and never forget!




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