Never Forget September 11th, 2001

  • Published
  • By Col. Fredrick R. Miclon
  • 103rd Airlift Wing
September 11th is a day of remembrance. It has been seven years since the lives of so many innocent people were taken from us in a shockingly horrific attack on our homeland - the first attack on United States soil since WWII.
That day, Police, Fire and EMS personnel found themselves on the front lines in what would become today's war on terror - a war without borders.
We honor the heroism of many great Americans on that day and many memorials are dedicated in fitting tribute to those whose lives were taken and for those who fought and sometimes perished to rescue the many innocent victims of an unprovoked attack on our nation. 

In our long history we have seen many great sacrifices by our nation. We mark the passing of those events with special days - Memorial Day to remember those who fought and died for our freedom in past wars; Veteran's Day to honors all veterans - living and deceased - who have served their country; Independence Day to celebrate the hard-fought birth of our nation and a new-found freedom and liberty.
Now, among these most significant days in the history of our nation is Patriot Day, observed on September 11th, a day we must also never forget, for that day the world changed forever. 

Shortly afterwards, the United States launched a war on terror, and the defense of our homeland became a top priority for our nation's security. Regardless of the outcome of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, even if we were to pull troops out now in victory, we can never go back to a world we had on September 10, 2001. We will always need to remain vigilant against an enemy attack and continue to defend democracy and freedom around the world in order to preserve our freedom and ensure basic human rights as we in America have enjoyed for over 230 years. 

As long as we are a strong nation, we will maintain a democracy that allows for the freedoms established in our Constitution, but as long as we have these freedoms that noble American patriots have fought for, we will have enemies that want us to fall; that will attack us in any way they can - like they did on September 11, 2001. 

Truth is, September 11th was not the beginning of a campaign of terror against our nation. Enemies of the United States declared war against us long ago. Since 1979, these enemies have killed almost 4,000 Americans in steadily worsening attacks that now include attacks against the homeland. 

We, as a nation, cannot turn our backs to this ever-growing threat. If we fail to confront and fight our enemies, it is the first day we begin to lose our freedom. We can bring our troops home and 'end the war', however, in the minds of our enemies, the war will not be over until they have defeated democracy, regardless of where that war is being waged - Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, or right here where we live. I personally would rather fight them in their backyards than on the streets of our nation. 

I hope none of us will ever forget how different September 12, 2001 was from September 10, 2001. We need to remember how life was before 9-11 - but we can never forget nor let our guard down to allow anyone to repeat such an attack on our United States. 

We need to remember; it allows us to honor our loss and remember the heroes, - but as important, it also reminds us how fragile security can be and how we must stand strong, because freedom is worth the price.