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The Day Innocence was Lost

The Day Innocence was Lost

It was a beautiful, sun drenched, late-summer morning. It appeared all was right in the world. The early day’s sun still very warm, but the smell of fall was in the air. I dropped my sons off for school and daycare. Jimmy had just started kindergarten and Hunter was a very young preschooler. I was looking forward to having a cup of coffee and a conversation with my Father before I started the work day. Just another normal but very blessed day here in the friendly confines of the West Branch Valley.

As I was listening to Imus in the Morning on the radio and he reported a small plane had crashed into one of the World Trade Center buildings. It seemed odd to me due to the high visibility and beautiful weather of the day, but things happen in New York City.

It’s hard to believe 18 years have passed since the day I watched the unimaginable unfold right before my eyes. My Father, Stepmother Carol and I had that cup of coffee, eyes glued on the TV. The conversation much different than the normal, “How are the boys doing?”

Many of the evil how, what and whys of the day would be revealed after the second plane was flown into the South Tower and President George Bush addressed the Nation that night. There would still be many questions to be answered. However we knew our great Nation was under attack by radical Islamic terrorists. The words Al-Qaeda, Taliban and Osama bin Laden soon to be heard way too many times.

I remember President Bush’s statement “We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.” My thoughts at the time were, how many of these whack jobs are there? What nations are supporting their attacking of America? Followed by, we need to find and eliminate all in existence.

The pure evil of 9/11 perpetrated on the innocent by radical Islamic terrorists needs to be taught in every school and college in our Nation. And across the world for that matter. That in the name of Allah, and organized by Osama bin Laden , 19 jihadist executed 2,135 civilians from 90 different countries. They committed the ultimate hate crime against Judea Christian values and the non Muslim world.

The events of that day need to be replayed and viewed by young Americans. No political correctness allowed. They need to be taught that there is pure evil that hides behind whatever means necessary in the world. That there are people that hate America and want us dead. The events of 9/11 prove they will stop at nothing to destroy our Nation.

It needs to be explained how they hijacked a 767 loaded with 20,000 gallons of jet fuel and crashed it into the North Tower at 8:45 a.m. on the morning of September 11th. Then follow it up with United Airlines flight 175, that I can still envision making that sharp turn over the Hudson and exploding into the South Tower.

There were 2,763 innocent victims that lost their lives at and around the site of the World Trade Centers. This included 157 souls aboard the two planes. The New York City emergency responders who gave their lives in the line of duty totaled 343 Firemen and Paramedics and 61 NYPD and Port Authority police officers.

These perpetrators of evil then crashed American Airlines flight 77 into the west side of the Pentagon. The crash and inferno killing 123 military and civilian personnel on the ground and 74 passengers and crew aboard the plane.

The fourth hijacked flight on 9/11 is really where our War on Terror begins. United Airlines flight 93 was fatefully delayed; this precious time gave the passengers and crew the opportunity to learn about the other attacks. Many had correspondence with loved ones. Thomas Burnett Jr. told his wife “I know we’re all going to die. There’s three of us who are going to do something about it. I love you honey.” Flight attendant Sandy Bradshire called and explained to her husband she was boiling water and filling pitchers and before she could say much more “Everyone is running to first class, I got to go, bye!” America’s fight back began with Todd Beamer’s words which were picked up by an open mic “Are you guys ready? Let’s Roll.”

Flight 93, as history recorded crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. All on board were lost even though they won. The heroic efforts of the passengers and crew saved countless lives. The hijacked flight was intended to target another point in the heart of Washington DC.

In addition to the lives lost on 9/11 there were also over 3,000 injured by the attacks. There has been 1,140 individuals diagnosed with cancer from breathing in carcinogens. Almost all do the attack and clean up of the World Trade Centers. Over 1,400 have died since 9/11 due to complications from attacks. Over three-quarters of these being emergency responders. There were also 11 lost pregnancies reported due to the exposure and breathing in of toxins from Ground Zero by moms to be.

The world I knew and the one my children have grown up in, changed forever that day. The words “Never Forget” must be accompanied by the actual video, as hard as it is to watch and the commitment of educating younger Americans.

We must not allow political correctness and far to the left socialism/liberalism to rewrite history and lessen the events of that day. It was an evil attack perpetrated on the innocent by extreme Islamic Fundamentalist. It took only 19 terrorists under the direction of Osama bin Laden to execute the heinous attacks and bring America to its knees. Our future generations must understand how many evil individuals, groups and countries there are that would like to bring the words “Death to America” to life.

Thank you to the United States Military, the Department of Homeland Security and all Intelligence Agencies for protecting us from things that go bump in the night and day.

God Bless America.

Jim Webb

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