Eleven years ago this morning our nation was shattered by the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the?Pentagon. The al Qaida terrorists used hijacked jetliners as their weapons - a fourth airliner was crashed into a Pennsylvania field when passengers fought back against the terrorists.
Eleven years later we still must pause and ponder the magnitude of the malevolence of this attack. All told, 2,977 innocent people were killed - passengers aboard the planes, people who died instantly in the crashes, and those who perished in fear from the flames, or from the collapse of the Twin Towers.
As we mark this anniversary we can take some small solace in the fact that the al Qaida leader responsible for the attack, Osama bin Laden, has been taken out, but the battle against terror remains. It is the kind of battle that will probably never be definitely won.
We must pause today to remember the victims and their families, and the heroes who responded so quickly in the days after and in the war on terrorism still being fought. We must also pledge our continuing vigilance so that those who wish to do us harm will never again get the chance.