On September 11th, 2001, my mother turned on the television. Everything was interrupted by footage of a plane crashing into a building. She stood there in shock, wondering along with everybody else how such a mistake could have been made. The tears came when a second plane flew into the South tower, as she, and the rest of the world, realized that this was no accident. America was under attack.
I was two days away from turning five at the time. Huddled on the stairs, my siblings and I stared at my mother, wondering why she was so upset. In the days following, we would learn about the largest terror attack that America has ever experienced, one that would forever change the greatest country in the history of the world.
Although everybody thinks about the thousands lost in Manhattan, it is crucial to remember that there were four planes hijacked, not just two. Two were sent to Manhattan, where they successfully took down both towers of the World Trade Center, a center which saw almost 90,000 people walk in and out the doors each day. A plane struck a section of the Pentagon in Washington D.C. killing 150 people. The final plane was United Flight 93, speculated to be heading toward the White House. The courageous souls on that flight discovered the real purpose behind the hijacking, and helped take the plane down, crashing it into a field in Pennsylvania and sacrificing themselves rather than let the plane take countless lives more.
This was a terror attack carried out by al-Qaeda. 19 militant terrorists hijacked the four planes; three were successful in their missions, but all four hijacking caused hundreds upon thousands of lives to be lost. This attack was the largest taking of life on American soil by a foreign attack, killing over three thousand people, including over 400 first responders.
In the years since, a war has been waged to fight against radical Islamic terrorism and to keep this section of history from ever repeating itself. In a day and age when you get labeled an ‘Islamophobe’ for daring to call radical Islam by its name and to be supportive of the war on terror, it is so crucial for us to look at the facts of what happened fifteen years ago today. We must keep fighting this fight, no matter how much the left harasses and tries to make us forget history.
September 11th, 2001 made everybody in this country freeze. In that one day, no matter who you were or what you were doing, America stood still. Fifteen years later, our message to the world remains the same. America was not brought down, America will NOT be brought down, and we will actively fight against anyone who tries to accomplish this goal.
So in thought and prayer be with those who have lost people they loved dearly. Honor those who responded. But most of all, echo with me the sentiment given by President George W. Bush when he spoke to those at Ground Zero through a bullhorn.
We heard you.
The rest of the world heard you.
And the people who tried to bring down America will continue to hear us roar.