Nearly 3,000 days have passed since the attacks of 9-11, almost one day for each one who has been taken from us on that fateful morning. Eight years since the United States suffered the worst attack on our soil since Pearl Harbor. It was a day that forever changed America and the world.
The nation paused at the moments when the planes crashed into the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon — symbols of America’s financial and military might — and at a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
There was silence at the site of the former World Trade Center at 8:46 a.m., the time the first plane struck the North Tower, followed by another at 9:03 a.m. when a jet struck the South Tower.
President Obama spoke at the Pentagon to those who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001, telling them no words would heal their pain yet calling for a renewed resolve against the ones who attacked the country eight years ago.
For many of us the memories are still fresh in our minds and hearts as we reflect on lives of loved ones affected so personally and so tragically. Today our nation is full of tributes and memorials. As it should be. As a nation we should daily remind ourselves of the events of that day and why we continue to push forward in the cause of freedom.
Last year on the seventh anniversary of 9.11, former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld made the following statement which bares repeating: “Today we renew our vows to never forget how this long struggle began and to never forget those who fell first.”
As we look back to that tragic day eight years ago we should take pride in the fact that we came together as a nation in the days, months and years that followed. We rose to the challenge that fateful day and we still can.