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Here, that Tuesday wasn’t a bright sunny day, perhaps an overcasting shadow of how the day would soon unfold!
To my parents generation, they can tell you to the precise moment what they were doing when Walter Cronkite broke into the afternoon soap operas to tearfully let the nation know that President John F. Kennedy had been assassinated in Dallas, TX. Their parents can tell you how the voices sounded as the newswires announced that Japan had attacked our fleet in Hawaii on that December 7th, a day of infamy.
For us, and for our children, the vision of those airplanes flying into the World Trade Center towers will be forever etched in our minds. The sight of the Pentagon burning after it was hit will be indullable. And the visualization of the heroics that ensued on Flight 93 as its proud victims helped to avert its disasterous attack, forcing it down into a field in Pennsylvania instead of allowing it to take out its target in Washington DC.
The victims and the survivors of 9-11 will always be remembered as our heroes. The firstresponders who valiantly charged into the Towers….. those who lost their lives that day, or the next, or are now suffering from the illnesses that filled their lungs and their bodies as the rescued loved ones and colleagues.
The military and civilians who were killed or injured at the Pentagon are forever memorialized in our minds.
And the recorded messages and phone calls that emanated from the passengers and crew on Flight 93 will forever play again and again, and the words “Let’s Roll” will always evoke a heroic symbolism.
Thus, this September 11th, 2008, seven years after our history changed forever, we will again pause and reflect. We will remember those lost that day, and their families who have attempted to pick up the pieces of their lives. We will think of the small children who lost family that day, who are now in school. We will think of those spouses and parents who deeply miss their loved one. All who lost their lives at the hand of those terrorists that day, those who survived that tragedy, and those who valiantly worked in the rescue attempts, we will remember the sacrifice that their service meant on that day.
New York City today is a different place. Having had the opportunity to dine at the Windows on the World restaurant high atop the Tower, it is eery to see the void in the skyline, but so very easy to recall the beauty of the view. One cannot walk in the area now referred to as Ground Zero without feeling the quietness that falls on those few blocks, feeling and knowing that this place is the beginning of a new chapter in our history. A place where the true heroic nature of the heart and soul that has always embodied the American ideal, will forever be interred and forever be memorialized as a reminder to the next generation that we must never forget, we must always be diligent, and we must never take our lives and our freedoms as Americans for granted ever.