Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Remember 9/11

                    The world changed forever on September 11, 2001, one of the saddest days in American history.  It is fitting that we take time on the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on our nation to remember those who died on that day and to pay tribute to them.

                    Ten years ago a series of four coordinated suicide attacks by al-Qaeda took place on the morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001.  Nineteen al-Qaeda terrorists were divided among four passenger jets.  Two groups of hijackers took control of flights out of Boston, Massachusetts (American Flight 11 and United Flight 175).  The hijackers on these two jets intentionally crashed them into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, killing themselves and everyone else on board as well as thousands of people who were working in the buildings.  Within two hours, both towers collapsed and damaged or destroyed numerous nearby buildings. 

                    A short time later a third group of terrorists hijacked a flight out of Washington, D.C. (American Flight 77), and flew it into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, killing themselves and all aboard that airplane as well as civilians and military personnel in the Pentagon.  Still later, a fourth group of terrorists hijacked a flight out of Newark, New Jersey (United Flight 93), and redirected it toward Washington, D.C. targeting either the Capital Building or the White House.  This aircraft did not reach the destination chosen by the hijackers because it crashed in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, after passengers tried to take control of the plane upon learning of the other hijacked jets.

                    A total of 2,996 people, including the 19 hijackers and 2,977 victims, died in the attacks.  The victims included 246 people on the four airplanes, 2,606 people in New York City in the towers and on the ground, and 125 people at the Pentagon.  First responders were included in the number of victims in the towers - 343 firefighters, 60 police officers, and 8 private emergency medical technicians and paramedics.  The victims were all civilians except for 55 military personnel killed at the Pentagon.  There were no survivors from any of the aircraft flights, and victims included nationals from over 70 countries.

                    President George W. Bush stated, "“Freedom itself was attacked this morning by a faceless coward. Freedom will be defended!”

                    Suspicion arose almost immediately that the attacks were done by members of al-Qaeda, but Osama bin Laden denied any involvement until 2004 when he claimed responsibility for the attacks.  The United States' support of Israel, the presence of U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia, and sanctions against Iraq were cited by al-Qaeda and bin Laden for motives for the attacks. 

President Bush declared, "The best defense against terrorism is a strong offensive against terrorists" and identified the terrorists as "evil." The United States started fighting the War on Terror by invading Afghanistan on October 7, 2001, in an attempt to depose the Taliban who had harbored al-Qaeda members.  The war in Afghanistan continues today, and thousands more people have died in this war to defeat terrorism.

                    President Barack Obama announced on May 1, 2011 that Osama bin Laden was killed in Pakistan after Obama authorized a Special Operation to capture or kill bin Laden.  The mission was conducted by the CIA and United States Navy SEALS.  President Obama announced the operation to the nation and the world from the East Room of the White House.

                    President Bush understood the importance of remembering:  “Time is passing. Yet, for the United States of America, there will be no forgetting September the 11th. We will remember every rescuer who died in honor. We will remember every family that lives in grief. We will remember the fire and ash, the last phone calls, the funerals of the children. ”

                    It is important that America remembers 9/11.  During the Spanish American War, the cry was "Remember the Alamo!"  In World War II, the cry became "Remember Pearl Harbor!"  The cry today is "Remember 9/11!" 

Why is it important for us to remember that America was attacked on 9/11?  Our enemies consider us weak and unwilling to fight long wars.  When we remember the attacks, we are more able to maintain our courage, our fortitude, and our willingness to continue fighting the War on Terror until this war is won.  By remembering, we keep our guard up and resist being fooled by political correct terms. 

Alan Jackson performed a song entitled "Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning" about the events of 9/11.  You can hear it here or here .

The Blaze had a good story about a hero of 9/11 - a man wearing a red bandana - who helped at least eighteen people escape from the South Tower.  He did not escape and died when the tower collapsed.

The anniversary of 9/11 will be marked by a ceremony at Ground Zero.  A new memorial built for the purpose of remembering the event will be opened.  The memorial consists of two beautiful granite reflecting pools that were built in the footprints of the original twin towers.  Bronze panels inscribed with the names of the people who died at Ground Zero on September 11, 2001, surround the pools.  President Bush spoke at the dedication of a memorial  in Pennsylvania on September 10, 2011.  A memorial was previously dedicated at the Pentagon.

                    There is much contention in our nation about the people who were or were not invited to attend the ceremony, and this situation brings its own kind of division to our nation.  Survivors of the victims were invited, but no first responders were invited to attend the ceremony in spite of the fact that over four hundred first responders died at Ground Zero.  The Catholic Bishop of Washington as well as Hindu, Buddhist, and Muslim leaders were invited, but no evangelical Christians/Protestants were.  Tony Perkins (head of the Family Research Council) stated, "Three-quarters of the American people identify as Christian and nearly a third of them are evangelical Christian.  And yet, there is not a single evangelical on the program.  There's no doubt that this is clearly politically correct.  It is historically inaccurate that in times of need or mourning that Americans pray to the Hindu or Buddhist Gods or the God of Islam.  America is overtly a Christian nation that prays to the Judeo-Christian God - and specifically to Jesus Christ."

                    "9/11:  Rising Above," a special commemorating the ten-year anniversary of 9/11, will air on radio, television, cable networks and Internet channels around the country.  News anchor Tom Brokaw, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and the Orchestra at Temple Square joined together to produce a special "Music and the Spoken Word" for the event.  Look for this special because it is sure to be good .

                    Remember may be the most important word in the dictionary!  Remember!

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