It's Tuesday morning.
If you weren't already aware, hopefully you now remember what today is. Seventeen years ago right now (supposing you're reading this within one hour and forty-two minutes of when I posted), a terrorist attack was taking place on American soil. The first since Pearl Harbor—sixty years prior.
Hijacked planes flew into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City.
Another hit the Pentagon—the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense—in Arlington County, Virginia.
A fourth, which was intended for the White House, was overtaken by heroic passengers and crashed in a field in Stonycreek, Pennsylvania.
2,996 people lost their lives—2,562 civilian victims, 343 firefighters, 72 law enforcement officers, and the 19 hijackers. Not to mention the over six thousand who were injured and lived to tell about it.
Was any of this news to you? Was a lot of it?
These are questions, among others, that I had to painfully answer as I did some research before setting out to write this post. There are a lot of things about that day and the subsequent war that I didn't know and still do not know.
But I want to know. Because, friends, although it may hurt, we need to know our history. We need to remember the sacrifice, the bravery, the heroism of our fellow Americans.
As Americans today, we have it so good. Anything we could want is at our fingertips. But in all that, we've lost sight of what really matters. We proudly proclaim 'never forget', but we have forgotten.
If one of our loved ones was killed that day, we would not have forgotten.
If a family member of ours was off fighting, we wouldn't forget about the war in the Middle East.
If we fully understood the magnitude of the sacrifices that have been made for the freedom we experience today, we wouldn't take it for granted.
Today, let's stop forgetting. Let's remember. Let's honor the flag and what it stands for. Let's say "never forget" and truly mean it, from the bottom of our hearts.
What will you do today to remember what happened seventeen years ago this morning?