The attacks in New York City and the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, on Tuesday, September 11, 2001, were a series of four well planned and coordinated terrorist attacks. They were launched by al-Qaeda, a radical Islamic terrorist group led by Osama bin Laden.
“Four passenger airliners were hijacked by 19 al-Qaeda terrorists so they could be flown into buildings in suicide attacks. Two of those planes, American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175, were crashed into the North and South towers, respectively, of the World Trade Center complex in New York City. Within two hours, both towers collapsed with debris and the resulting fires causing partial or complete collapse of all other buildings in the WTC complex, as well as major damage to ten other large surround structures. A third plane, American Airlines Flight 77, was crashed into the Pentagon (the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense), leading to a partial collapse in its western side. The fourth plane, United Airlines Flight 93, was targeted at Washington, D.C., but crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, after its passengers tried to overcome the hijackers. In total, almost 3,000 people died in the attacks, including the 227 civilians and 19 hijackers aboard the four planes. It also was the deadliest incident for firefighters in the history of the United States.”
Osama bin Laden initially denied any involvement in the attack, but in 2004 he admitted that he was responsible for the attacks. He “cited U.S. support of Israel, the presence of U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia, and sanctions against Iraq as motives for the attacks.” Within a month or so, the War on Terror had been launched with the invasion of Afghanistan in an effort to destroy the Taliban because they were harboring al-Qaeda. President George W. Bush vowed to catch bin Laden, but the terrorist mastermind evaded capture for years until May 2011 when U.S. forces located and killed him.
It is now twelve years since the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon and the deaths of nearly 3,000 innocent Americans. It is also one year since our Ambassador to Libya and three members of his staff were killed by terrorists. It appears that Barack Obama has forgotten that al Qaeda attacked our sovereign soil and killed our fellow Americans.
God’s living prophet, President Thomas S. Monson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said that the tragedy of 9/11 allowed us to rebuild spiritually. “The calamity of September 11, 2001, has cast a long shadow. Ten years later, many of us are still haunted by its terrible tragedy of lost lives and broken hearts. It is an episode of anguish that has become a defining moment in the history of the American nation and the world….
“There was, as many have noted, a remarkable surge of faith following the tragedy. People across the United States rediscovered the need for God and turned to Him for solace and understanding. Comfortable times were shattered. We felt the great unsteadiness of life and reached for the great steadiness of our Father in Heaven. And, as ever, we found it. Americans of all faiths came together in a remarkable way.
“Sadly, it seems that much of that renewal of faith has waned in the years that have followed. Healing has come with time, but so has indifference. We forget how vulnerable and sorrowful we felt. Our sorrow moved us to remember the deep purposes of our lives. The darkness of our despair brought us a moment of enlightenment. But we are forgetful. When the depth of grief has passed, its lessons often pass from our minds and hearts as well….
“If there is a spiritual lesson to be learned from our experience of that fateful day, it may be that we owe to God the same faithfulness that He gives to us. We should strive for steadiness, and for a commitment to God that does not ebb and flow with the years or the crises of our lives. It should not require tragedy for us to remember Him, and we should not be compelled to humility before giving Him our faith and trust. We too should be with Him in every season.
“The way to be with God in every season is to strive to be near Him every week and each day. We truly `need Him every hour,’ not just in hours of devastation. We must speak to Him, listen to Him, and serve Him. If we wish to serve Him, we should serve our fellow men. We will mourn the lives we lose, but we should also fix the lives that can be mended and heal the hearts that may yet be healed….”
Here are a couple of videos to help you remember the attacks. “Have you forgotten?” “Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning?”
We must remember 9/11 just as previous generations remembered the Alamo or Pearl Harbor. This is our day to defend America. May God continue to bless the USA!