The Valdosta Daily Times
The 12th anniversary of the terrorist bombings in New York and Washington, D.C., is Wednesday this week. Locally, the City of Valdosta is planning a ceremony 8:45 a.m. Wednesday at Fire Station No. 1, 106 N. Oak St., and Lowndes County is placing a wreath at the memorial on the courthouse square at 9 a.m. that day.
Regardless of your feelings about what’s going on today in Syria, or in the past in Iraq, Afghanistan, etc., the events on 9/11/01 should be given the respect and honor they deserve. Military actions affect military members who knowingly and willingly sign up for service to serve their country anytime and anywhere they are needed. But the majority of the victims on 9/11 weren’t military members. They were ordinary citizens working at their jobs, or flying on an airplane, completely unaware of the horrific terrorist plans that day.
Thousands of families lost loved ones in this tragedy. And all Americans lost their sense of peace. Not since the bombing of Pearl Harbor as an act of aggression by the Japanese during wartime has America suffered such an attack on its own shores. And those bombs were meant for military targets. The 9/11 targets were deliberately against civilians.
With each passing year, it will become more difficult to keep the memory of that day alive. But as with many other life-changing events in our nation’s history, it’s imperative that we try. All Americans need to remember. We need to remember the victims ... the families ... the pain and suffering. But most of all we need to remember that if it happened once, it can happen again. At any time, anywhere. No longer can we believe that only military installations would be targeted. In today’s world, terrorists aim to strike fear in our hearts by targeting people and places of sentiment. To shock us and make us afraid to stand up and defend ourselves when needed.
On Wednesday, take a moment to reflect on that day, where you were, what you were doing, and most importantly, how you felt. And try to create a place in your memory to store that feeling. If world events continue as they have in recent times, every American needs to remember that fateful day, and hope and pray it never happens again, but be prepared in case it does.