Why We Must Remember 9/11

Today, I have overheard several people asking, in various forms, "why do they always have to bring up the attacks today?"

There is a very good reason, but it is rather hard to explain. I'll try, however.

We must remember because it was on this day, six years ago, that we were attacked both from without and from within. The men who piloted those planes into those buildings were not American citizens, but they had lived among us--eating our food, drinking our beverages, watching our TV, etc--for quite some time. Thus, though they came from outside our nation, they had at least experienced enough of it to be relatively at home here.

And they hated us. Their brethren around the world still hate us, and are determined to either destroy our way of life. If they can't do that, they will kill every single American that does not bow the knee to them and their twisted religion of hatred and death.

So why do they hate us so? That question has been pondered by much better minds--and much poorer ones--than mine. My own belief is that it is a combination of many factors. For some, it is our support of Israel. For some, it is that we, who as a nation are predominantly of another religion, is so much more successful than they are. For some, it is simply that it is easier for them to destroy others than improve themselves.

We are engaged in a war against these people. The main battlefields may currently be in Afghanistan and Iraq, but look at the headlines for the last year and you will see other places where the war is being waged--Glasgow Airport; Fort Dix; Ramstein, Germany among many others.

If we forget what these people did to us, collectively, as a nation, six years ago today; if we forget how we felt watching the horror unfold on our TV screens or listening on our radios, we may forget why it is important that we triumph over our enemies.

Even after this war is won, and I pray for our victory every day, we must still remember. Because we cannot permit ourselves to let another 9/11 happen. We have been caught with our pants down twice so far in our history; Pearl Harbor is the other instance. Both occurred when Americans believed we could safely turn our backs on the world and isolate ourselves. Both showed that when we do that, the world intrudes on us in devastating ways.

And that, neighbor, is why we must never forget 9/11, and why we must always honor those who were innocent victims of evil, and especially those who ran into danger when others were running away.