Cross-posted at Musings..
Today is September 11, 2005. Four years ago, I watched in horror as unspeakable acts were committed against our nation. I remember.
I suspect that you do as well. I won't bother you with the oft overused pictures of the burning towers. I won't put up pictures of the men and women who were jumping out of the 115th floor of the building, because falling to your death was preferable to burning up in an inferno I can only imagine. Let us remember the grey faces of the firefighters and police. Let us keep the images in our mind of the planes flying into the sides of the buildings. I personally will never forget the face of my young daughter when she realized that the objects that were falling were people... I remember physically removing her from the room and putting on something else, as I had not known she was in the room watching. She deserved a bit more innocence than that would have given her.
Don't forget the Pentagon - the largest office building in the world, now restored, maintaining the vigilance that keeps us safe. Over a hundred men and women, some of the armed services, some civilian, died there too.
And the Angels without wings - the passengers and crew of United Flight 93 who died over Shanksville, PA so others might live.
For those who don't like our being in Iraq, remember the words of the President on 9/20/2001.
"....Tonight, we are a country awakened to danger and called to defend freedom. Our grief has turned to anger and anger to resolution. Whether we bring our enemies to justice or bring justice to our enemies, justice will be done.
...Our war on terror begins with al Qaeda, but it does not end there.
It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated.
Americans are asking "Why do they hate us?"
They hate what they see right here in this chamber: a democratically elected government. Their leaders are self-appointed. They hate our freedoms: our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other.
They want to overthrow existing governments in many Muslim countries such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan. They want to drive Israel out of the Middle East. They want to drive Christians and Jews out of vast regions of Asia and Africa.
These terrorists kill not merely to end lives, but to disrupt and end a way of life. With every atrocity, they hope that America grows fearful, retreating from the world and forsaking our friends. They stand against us because we stand in their way.
We're not deceived by their pretenses to piety.
We have seen their kind before. They're the heirs of all the murderous ideologies of the 20th century. By sacrificing human life to serve their radical visions, by abandoning every value except the will to power, they follow in the path of fascism, Nazism and totalitarianism. And they will follow that path all the way to where it ends in history's unmarked grave of discarded lies. Americans are asking, "How will we fight and win this war?"
We will direct every resource at our command -- every means of diplomacy, every tool of intelligence, every instrument of law enforcement, every financial influence, and every necessary weapon of war -- to the destruction and to the defeat of the global terror network.
Now, this war will not be like the war against Iraq a decade ago, with a decisive liberation of territory and a swift conclusion. It will not look like the air war above Kosovo two years ago, where no ground troops were used and not a single American was lost in combat.
Our response involves far more than instant retaliation and isolated strikes. Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign unlike any other we have ever seen. It may include dramatic strikes visible on TV and covert operations secret even in success.
We will starve terrorists of funding, turn them one against another, drive them from place to place until there is no refuge or no rest.
And we will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism. Every nation in every region now has a decision to make: Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists.
From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime. Our nation has been put on notice, we're not immune from attack. We will take defensive measures against terrorism to protect Americans. Today, dozens of federal departments and agencies, as well as state and local governments, have responsibilities affecting homeland security....Many will be involved in this effort, from FBI agents, to intelligence operatives, to the reservists we have called to active duty. All deserve our thanks, and all have our prayers. And tonight a few miles from the damaged Pentagon, I have a message for our military: Be ready. I have called the armed forces to alert, and there is a reason.
The hour is coming when America will act, and you will make us proud...."
Remember these numbers.
|World Trade Center||Towers||2,595|