Sept. 11 — A day for reflection
Today is the 11th anniversary of the terrorists attacks on America. It is a day that, like the attack on Pearl Harbor 72 years ago, will live in memories for decades to come.
It was on this day in 2001 that Americans on the West Coast woke up to the terrible news and the horrifying images on the television that attacks had been made on the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon in Washington, DC. and Flight 93 in Pennsylvania.
Unlike Pearl Harbor when people got word of what had happened via their radios and many saw no images of the attack until days later, 11 years ago the impact of what had happened was immediate. Right before our eyes America was under attack and fellow Americans were being killed.
There are similarities and differences between Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941 and the terrorists attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
The similarities are the surprise in which the attacks caught most Americans. Another similarity was the horror of the carnage done.
The differences are many. First and foremost, America knew who was behind the attack in 1941. Americans also had a good idea of the reason for the attack and what it meant.
It took time for Americans to know with certainty who was behind the attacks on that crisp morning 11 years ago. But, even when we knew who was responsible, we did not have a defined enemy or place where we could respond. It created a sense of hopelessness in that we were not certain what to do to prevent further attacks.
Today is a time to reflect what that day meant to us all. The War on Terror, unlike World War II, is not one that will be won one battle at a time, or even one country at a time. It will not be won by just bullets and bombs. It will be won by a better understanding of two very different cultures of each other, the struggles we face and our resolve to survive.
Today is a time to remember not only those who died in those attacks 11 years ago, but all those who have died since in the War on Terror and resolve to settle our differences.