It’s hard to believe 20 years have slipped into the future since that second day of infamy in American history. I remember it like it was yesterday. A beautiful late summer September morning, all seemed right in the world as the day began. I was meeting my Father for coffee before beginning the workday. The conversation was sure to be about his grandsons, Jimmy, who had just started kindergarten, and Hunter, who just began preschool. It was a special time for the Webb family, my Dad and I still had those normal conversations about business and sports, but the focus had changed more importantly to his grandsons. The morning quiet and a cup of coffee with Dad also gave me a break from my two young bucks and was a good time to ask parenting questions. Boy, do I miss those days.
Before my arrival that day and having that coffee, American Airlines Flight 11 slammed into the North Tower; at first, it was thought to be possibly a small plane and an accident. Before my Father and I had our second cup of coffee, there was no doubt, America was under attack as we witnessed United Flight 175 slice through the South Tower. As you are reading this, I’m sure you’re remembering exactly where you were and how your day began, and the shocking events that unfolded.
As the World Trade Centers burned, American Flight 77 was used as a missile to attack the Pentagon, and those controlling the skies across our Nation were trying to figure out how many planes may have been hijacked and where the next attack would occur. As history records, the cowardly Islamic extremists got more than they bargained for onboard American Airlines Flight 93. The words of Todd Beamer forever heard in a most patriotic way “Are you guys ready? Let’s roll!” The ground where the plane ended its journey in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, is now a memorial site. This is complete with phones that allow you to hear conversations between passengers and loved ones during their last moments.
In one hour and 42 minutes, almost 3,000 lives were lost to Islamic terrorists in the name of jihad. The words Osama bin Laden, Afghanistan, Al-Qaeda, Taliban were soon to be heard way too often. In the blink of an eye on a beautiful September morning, our world was changed forever.
The pure evil of 9/11 perpetrated on the innocent by these radical Islamic terrorists needs to be taught and remembered in every school, college, and within every home in our Nation. The complete disregard of human life and what they will do in the name of jihad must be completely understood. It was not just an attack on America but on those following Judeo-Christian values around the world. On September 11th, in the name of Allah and organized by Osama bin Laden, 19 jihadis executed 2,135 civilians from 90 different countries at the site of the World Trade Centers. They committed the ultimate religious hate crime in the name of evil masked by jihad.
For those not born yet, too young to remember, or maybe that just need a reminder of how fragile life and freedom are, I suggest you watch 9/11: One day in America. This series can be found on the National Geographic Network; it is a real-time video conglomeration that puts the absolute horrific events of the day into perspective. Please share your personal memories of 9/11 with your children and grandchildren. We must educate future generations in regard to the evil threat that will always be a not so clear but present danger. We must make sure the facts about September 11th, 2001, are never forgotten.
As I have recently watched the situation in Afghanistan, it has brought back the emotions and mental anguish of 9/11 and the events that followed. I am sure many understand that feeling I’m talking about. This is not the week for me to question President Joe Biden, our commander in chief. However, I feel it’s necessary the American people understand through his underestimating the radical Islamic extremists’ presence in Afghanistan, he is not remembering their past capabilities.
Our Nation’s battle against evil and terrorism will never end. We must remember the events of the past and that jihadis will stop at nothing to disrupt and terrorize in an effort to end our way of life. Exiting Afghanistan might end a 20-year war in President Biden’s mind; however, to radical Islam, no matter the group, the U.S. leaving in this manner is a victory.
In closing, my thoughts, prayers, and gratitude go out to everyone that answered the call of duty on September 11th, 2001. There were so many lives saved by their bravery and selflessness. I also pray for all that lost loved ones on that fateful day. Whether they were an innocent victim or an emergency responder, I can only imagine how difficult it is to find healing and solace.
I would also like to thank the amazing men and women of the United States Armed Forces, especially those that have held down the fort in Afghanistan for 20 years. Again, my thoughts and prayers go out to the recently fallen and their families. The courage, commitment, and conviction of our United States military are why we all enjoy the freedoms provided by the Constitution.
God Bless America.