Why You Can Never Forget


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The New York Twin Towers before they were destroyed in the 9/11 attacks.

Emma Lawman, Reporter

      On September 11, 2001 our country was attacked by al-Qaeda terrorists. The terrorists hijacked four planes all loaded with passengers. The terrorists flew two of the planes into the New York Twin Towers, and one into the Pentagon. The fourth plane, United Flight 93, did not reach the intended destination because passengers aboard became aware of the terrorists intentions and stopped the hijackers. United Flight 93 crashed in a Pennsylvania field and the terrorists did not finish their intended attack. About three-thousand people were killed on September 11, 2001; hundreds of those killed were first responders who ran to aid the victims. When the towers came down, along with the citizens inside already, it crushed many of the first responders who went in. Few survived being pinned under the towers and most were killed. After this day, the war on terror began, and many people have sacrificed to fight this war. The effects of 9/11 have lasted long beyond that day: whether it is sickness caused by the attacks, mourning for a family member or friend lost, suicide, sacrifice of lives and time, or a lost sense of security.   

     There are many people who have been casualties of the war on terror; in some ways we are all casualties of terror. Examples of those who have sacrificed are: Daniel Pearl, Malala Yousafzai, Neil Roberts, Josh Rosenblum, Todd Beamer, Spike the service dog, and Scott Davidson. Not all of these victims/warriors were killed on 9/11. For this reason, the saying, Never Forget, should not just apply on September 11, 2001. You do not have to live in it, but every once and awhile maybe take a few moments to remember that there are people out there who want to take our freedom, and preserving it has a cost. Following are some brief descriptions of what happened to those listed above, so you will have some faces to the names—

     Daniel Pearl was a reporter who was kidnapped and beheaded by a terrorist group in 2002 while going to a supposed interview. Malala Yousafzai was a young girl in Pakistan who survived being shot in the head by the Taliban in 2012 for her crime of being a girl and going to school. Neil Roberts was a Navy Seal who deployed with his team shortly after 9/11. On a mission Roberts fell out of the helicopter due to an enemy attack and fought to his death, ultimately being overwhelmed by enemy fighters. Josh Rosenblum, who was West Boca’s own Ms. Rosenblumś brother-in-law, was killed in the Twin Towers on 9/11; He was only 28 years old and about to get married. Todd Beamer was one of the passengers on United Flight 93 who fought off the hijackers and stopped them from reaching their intended target. Beamer’s last heard words were “Lets Roll” as he and other passengers were going to fight the terrorists, even though they knew they were going to die. Spike was a service dog who was working with special forces and was killed in action in Iraq. Scott Davidson was Pete Davidson’s father who was a firefighter and was killed on 9/11 when the Twin Towers came down, because he ran inside to help people. Another casualty, whose name is not known, was a single mother who jumped out of one of the Twin Towers because it is assumed that she would rather jump than be burned to death. Needless to say, there have been many casualties in terroristś mission to destroy freedom. 

     Terrorism is not isolated to 9/11. Al-Qaeda was formed in the late 1980s and their original mission was to fight against Russia’s attempted takeover of Afghanistan. The United States actually helped Afghanistan fight the Russians. Despite that, in 1996, Osama bin Laden (the leader/founder of al-Qaeda) declared a holy war against the United States. September 11, 2001 was not the first time al-Qaeda was responsible for an attack on the United States; in 1993, al-Qaeda tried to blow up the World Trade Center. Six people were killed and over a thousand were injured; this was the first attempt to destroy the World Trade Center. This was not the only time before 9/11 that al-Qadea would attack the United States.

       In the years after 9/11 terrorists have continued to kill and injure innocent people and the people fighting them. In the past two decades, thousands of people have been killed globally from terrorism. While withdrawing from Afghanistan in 2021, thirteen United States service members were killed by a suicide bomber. When the United States withdrew from Afghanistan the Taliban took over the country. Now the women in the country have essentially no freedom. Our freedoms are not the only freedom that terrorists want to take away. 

      Allies of the United States such as, Israel, Great Britain, and France have been attacked by terrorists since 9/11. This is important for us to pay attention to because if our allies are weakened our world standing is also weakened. It needs to be understood that the Taliban and al-Qaeda are not the only terrorists groups out there. The threat of terrorism is not isolated to one country and muslim extremist terrorists groups are not the only terrorist groups. For example, Timothy Mcveigh was an American who served in the military, and he bombed a federal building in Oklahoma, City in 1995. The bombing killed 168 people, including children, and injured over 500 people. Terrorists come in all shapes and sizes, come from different places, and are all a threat. 

    The reason this article was not published on the anniversary of 9/11 is to further drive home the point that the anniversary of 9/11 is, again, not the only time the saying Never Forget should apply. The evil that was responsible for the attack on September 11, 2001, unfortunately did not die with Osama bin Laden. The fact is, there will continue to be casualties of terrorists, and some of them will be Americans. In this country we have people who are willing to pay the price of maintaining our freedom, and, as a result, many Americans are spared from the burden. We can not be a free country without people to maintain the security of our country and handle the threats: that is our military. Domestically, we have people to maintain the safety and protect the rights of our citizens: that is our law enforcement both on local and federal levels. An example of American freedoms in contrast to countries such as Afghanistan, is that the people here do not get whipped for peacefully protesting. Only remembering the fragility of our freedom on the anniversary of 9/11 could be very dangerous.

       Our country is not perfect, but it has built into it the ability to change the institutions of government; this ensures that we have the ability to make the United States a better place. Evidence of our country’s ability to change for the better can be found in the variety of social justice movements that lead to significant change, such as, the integration of schools or women and minorities gaining the ability to vote. Those are some of the reasons that this is the greatest country in the world. Every time you sit for the pledge, burn a flag, or kneel for the National Anthem you are spitting on the institutions and the people that are the reason you are free. You are also giving a free victory to the terrorists who hate this country. To be honest, I have no idea why you are disrespecting our flag that stands for justice; especially if you are saying that you are fighting for justice. Although, I do not have to understand it, this is America where you are free to do this; different opinions and peaceful protests are allowed. There have, and there will always be, people who try to destroy this country in a variety of different ways, but one of the things to be learned from 9/11 is that we are not easy to break. It cannot be forgotten that there are people outside and inside the United States that have every intention of trying to destroy this country, so do not think that there are no wolves at the door – Never Forget.