It was a morning not unlike many others that preceded it, except that the events of the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, changed every morning after that. Between 8:46 a.m. and 10:28 a.m. there was an act of war declared upon the U.S. by a series of suicide attacks orchestrated by enemies of America (later determined to be al-Qaida) on four separate locations. Indeed, Americans of all ages will, until time indefinite, vividly recall where they were and what they were doing when they learned of this event.
Perhaps nothing as shocking as that had occurred since the tragic events of Nov. 22, 1963, nor had anything had such an impact since Dec. 7, 1943. Undeniably now, America had three events that captured the attention of Americans on a lasting basis from the middle and latter parts of the 20th century and now into the 21st.
The makeup and execution of the attacks were unfathomable as America learned about how this could have happened. There were four almost simultaneous attacks of piracy on American soil. Setting their intentions on decimating critically important targets valued by Americans, the rebels hijacked airliners and started on a course of action that would result in the deaths of 2,753 innocent victims, 343 firefighters (a number that is more than three times that of any annual line-of-duty death rate for firefighters) and 60 police officers of of New York City and the New York Port Authority. There were also eight private emergency medical technicians and paramedics, inclusive of another 184 people in the attack against the Pentagon. The number at the Pentagon included civilians of more than 70 countries.
Describing the network of states and countries he said were aligned against the U.S., President George W. Bush described the insurgents as “The axis of evil.”
In the wake of the aftermath of this action against the nation, what was to come? What lessons were to be learned? What would be the effects and/or impacts of the attack? Would America recover and rebuild? What of those who perished? These were only a few of a plethora of thoughts, questions and concerns of Americans across the nation.
It was immediately determined that no less than three areas of pressing concern confronted the country. One source captures those concerns as: economic impacts, health effects and greater attention to our country’s awareness about terrorism
Any search engine exploration on this topic will reveal countless reports and papers on the subject, but one source (used for this piece) reports that the American stock exchange didn’t open until Sept. 17 where the exchange had fallen some 684 points, setting a new one-day low. A week later, it had fallen 1,369.7 points, another record for a one-week low. The market is said to have lost $1.4 trillion. The U.S. economy was faced with many untoward affects that not just a few economists wondered if it would ever recover from.
Perhaps the most significant impact was that of health. As we watched in awe and disbelief, we could hardly appreciate the impact of the layers and layers of smoke and dust that enveloped the entire metropolitan New York area. Those effects and like conditions at the Pentagon are still being felt 10 years later.
We were helped to recall the truthfulness of an old axiom “Tomorrow is promised to no one.” As a result, countless numbers of people were also helped to again appreciate the valuable things we have in our society, not the least of which are those things provided us by friends, family, even government. But the greatest thing learned may be lessons about the human spirit.
Time and again, people amaze us and prove that ordinary people do extraordinary things. So in their honor, why not help make it the goal of Americans everywhere to never forget the supreme sacrifice paid by those injured or lost that day, especially the ones paying the price of life in efforts rescuing their fellow citizens? Never forget the humanitarian lessons shown and learned. “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are,” as Theodore Roosevelt said.
To do what you can, perhaps mark your calendars for a local memorial honoring our community’s public safety officers, both fire and police, at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 10, at the Orangewood Presbyterian Church, 1300 W. Maitland Blvd., Maitland. No doubt you will find it time well spent.
—Maitland Fire Department
City Council Agenda of Sept.12
Annual Budget – Set Proposed Millage Rate for FY 12
• SLMP Update Contract Amendment – Kimley-Horn
• Contract – Janitorial Services
• Contract – Towing & Wrecker Services
• Appointment – Planning & Zoning Commission (1)
• Set Stormwater, Solid Waste, Water & Sewer Rates
• Ordinance – Comply with the State’s Preemption of Firearms Regulations
• Undergrounding Utilities Fire Station and City Hall
• Petition No. 2011-01 (SUB) Final Subdivision Plat
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