Just about 11 years ago, the following words appeared as part of an editorial we wrote in an attempt to bring perspective to the events of Sept. 11, 2001:
"We cannot and should not, ever again, as a people, as a nation, be anything but the strongest nation in the world. We must conduct ourselves as such and never be fooled again into thinking our way of life can be preserved by giving up or giving in."
Those words continue to ring true today, the 11th anniversary of the heinous terrorist attacks on the United States.
While time continues to pass, it's important to remember that day and the way our world has changed.
Like today, Sept, 11, 2001, was a Tuesday. It was one of those late summer days people in our part of the country wait all year for, one with a cloudless blue sky, comfortable temperatures and low humidity. We had just dropped the kids off at school, arrived at work or made the first shopping stop of the day when the news broke -an airplane had hit the World Trade Center.
A tragic accident, we thought, until we learned a second plane slammed into the complex and a third plane had been crashed into the Pentagon.
We didn't know then that a fourth plane was passing over our heads on its way to Washington. Only later would we learn that the passengers and surviving flight crew forced those who had hijacked that plane -United Flight 93 -to fly the aircraft into the ground near Shanksville, Pa., and thus won the first battle in our war on terrorism.
It's sometimes hard to remember that sense of resolve that all Americans felt that day and shortly thereafter. We were willing to put aside our differences and come together as one nation, showing a strong sense of resolve to the rest of the world.
Sadly, we have let a part of that spirit slip away, and nowhere is that more evident in our politics, where Democrats and Republicans seem to be locked into a battle of mutually assured self-destruction.
Our hope is that everyone can put those differences aside and continue to work for their communities, help their neighbors and friends and strengthen their families.
Today, we remember those who died on Sept. 11, whether they were the civilians who were merely going about their daily lives in the World Trade Center, the employees in the Pentagon, the flight crews and passengers on the four airliners that were commandeered in the attacks and the first responders who gave their lives while trying to save others. We also remember the servicemen and women whose lives have been lost in the war on terror.
While we remember and mourn, we must resolve to stand strong as Americans, and continue to work together.