Sept. 11: Never forget

For 12 years following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Americans have been urged to get back to “normal.” That would be the most effective, meaningful retaliation against Islamic extremists, we were assured.

Most of us have heeded the advice, but it is appropriate that we remember that whether the terrorist threat is “top of mind” or not, 9/11 changed our lives and our world forever.

In many towns, cities and states, special observances continue to be held to commemorate the events of 9/11. Flags are flown at half-staff, moments of silence are observed, wreaths are laid and in some places, large ceremonies are held.

It is appropriate that we mourn the thousands of people who have been victims of the war against us by terrorists, just since Sept. 11, 2001.

Nearly 3,000 men, women and children died in the initial attacks in New York City, Washington, D.C., and rural Pennsylvania. Among them were more than 400 firefighters, paramedics and police officers. Since 9/11, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have claimed the lives of thousands of U.S. service men and women. Thousands more have been maimed in body and mind.

Every Sept. 11 is a day to remind ourselves of the horror of 9/11 and the heavy price paid to keep us safe – the price paid to allow most Americans to live “normal” lives. It is also a date that lives in infamy and on which we dedicate ourselves to overcoming the scourge or terrorism.