Naval Station Everett’s Fire Captain Mike Kazikiewicz and Chief Master at Arms (SW) Winston Preston present a wreath in memory of Sept. 11, 2001. The base held a Remembrance Ceremony, organized by the Greater Northwest Chief Petty Officer’s Association, in honor of sailors who died at the Pentagon and all those who lost their lives in the tragedy.
US Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist Crishanda K. Underland
On Sept. 11, 2001, in an unforgivable and horrific attack, terrorists robbed America of more than 3,000 lives. Quite simply, Sept. 11, 2001, wounded our nation in a way we had not known since the shock of Pearl Harbor almost 68 years ago.
In bringing down the World Trade Center, damaging the Pentagon and downing an airliner in a Pennsylvania field, the day ranks as the most devastating in our nation’s history. We vowed we would not forget. But have we?
Domestic issues and the war in Iraq have our attention, and for good reason. But I fear Sept. 11 is fading in our memories, now relegated to a single paragraph in newspaper stories and occasional references on television.
Hundreds of families, though, still suffer gaping holes. A mother, a father, a brother, a child is no longer among them. Along with these loved ones, more than 300 emergency-service workers perished in the attacks. Their survivors live with the pain of Sept. 11 daily.
On this eighth anniversary, do you remember the shock, the agony, the disbelief at what you witnessed that day?
Those of us who were not directly affected by the attacks are at a disadvantage. With Ground Zero not outside our front door and the Pentagon not visible from our window, the anger we felt that day is perhaps starting to fade.
Half a world away, the enemies, those who hatched the Sept. 11 plot and hope to spawn even more terror, are counting on that.
Convinced we are a nation of selfish materialists, they do not think we have resolve. They do not cower. Will we?
They do not think we will triumph over them. Let it be said on Patriot Day and every day that we shall win this war.
Even as we pause to remember those who died in the attacks, America’s military is tracking down terrorists and securing liberty at home and abroad.
If the memory of Sept. 11 is fresh for anyone, it is our men and women in uniform.
Along with our elected officials and our intelligence agencies, our military is tasked with preventing another tragedy of that magnitude. As they patrol Iraq and Afghanistan, weathering sandstorms, rocks, bullets, IEDs, and extreme heat, they are dismantling piece by piece the terror networks that threaten peace and security worldwide. We are indebted to them for their willingness to protect our country.
I stand behind our men and women in uniform, and my prayers and thoughts are with them wherever they must go to defend our way of life. They are America’s newest wartime veterans and newest heroes.
We need them now because of the cowardly acts that terrorists perpetuate against all citizens of this world, including their own neighbors and families.
May the victims and heroes of 9/11 forever rest in peace and forever abide in our memories. I will never forget September 11, 2001.