By Jamie Hammack
Eighteen years. It certainly doesn’t seem like it. 18 years since evil brought itself to our shores and made itself known leading to the longest war in American history. On September 11th, 2001 Islamic terrorist hit us in four coordinated attacks. Four passenger jets were boarded that day. Two would crash into the iconic World Trade Center towers in New York City. One would crash into The Pentagon in Arlington County, Virginia and one would crash into a field in Pennsylvania when passengers aboard fought back against the cowards who had hijacked the plane. 2,996 people died that day, but if you’re counting the number of dead caused by the attacks that day then the number isn’t completely accurate. To this day civilians and first responders still die from cancer and respiratory related illness caused by inhaling toxic dust from the fallen towers. The deaths will sadly continue for years to come.
What happened after the attacks is the ongoing Afghanistan War, which is a part of the larger War on Terror. It is a war that is likely to never end. You cannot easily defeat an enemy that has no standing army or capital to seize. Their leaders, once killed by our forces or allies, are simply replaced by the next terrorist in line in a global game of whack a mole. Our armed forces do the job, but the job has no end in sight.
After the attacks here on home soil our country was swept up in a beautiful wave of patriotism. We were one. We consoled one another. We cried together. We were angry together. We sought revenge, and through our military for the most part, found it. What we cannot do is forget who it is that attacked us and why they attacked us. Every year at this time we post on social media to “Never Forget”, but we should look deeper not forget who attacked us and why. Islamic terrorist attacked us. They did so because they hate what we stand for. The terrorist despise our laws. Our freedoms. To the terrorist it is unconscionable women are free and can do as they please. They hate our way of life and that we do not worship as they do. They hate Israel and our relationship with the Israeli’s. They hate the influence we have on the world. These are just some of the things Islamic terrorist hate about us. Are these things all Muslims hate about us? No. There are thousands of Muslims who have fought with us in the war on terror. Some from the Middle East. Some are natural born Americans from our shores that signed up as a part of what they see is their patriotic duty. Some because they have seen their home country torn apart by the likes of Saddam Hussein and they wished to help Iraq better itself.
But let us not forget we were attacked because of who we are. Let us not forget our allies have been attacked because they share our values. Britain, France, Spain. All have felt the sting of losing innocent people in senseless, cowardly attacks. When you read a paper, social media news post or watch a news program on television, if they do not name who attacked us and why, then they are being politically correct. It was Islamic terrorist with al-Qaeda that killed innocent people. Innocent people of all races, religions and political stripes. Ordinary people just like you and me who were simply going to work that day, never to return. Firemen, paramedics and citizens who, when others were terrified for their lives ran out, ran in. People died that day who never thought they would make a decision to jump from a thousand feet in the air to their deaths because they felt it a better way to die than burning to death or suffocating on the smoke. Never forget these people.
Never forget the men and women who have died since that day so that we can remain free. Our military members and their families have sacrificed for us. They fought. Died. And some have carried the burdens of the battlefield with themselves ever since. Never forget them. Never forget our allies in this war who have done the same as our military in ensuring freedom. British, German, French, Polish, Italian, Australian, Czech, Hungary and others. All have sacrificed. Never forget. Never forget those who died. Those who lived through the carnage. Those who continue to keep us free. And never forget who we were on September 12th, 2001. One country. One nation. One people. Americans.