Chronicle Editorial

A lesson not long forgotten

     Today marks yet another anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and the occassion never gets any easier no matter how many years pass between that fateful day.

     The United States has seen incredible changes throughout the past 12 years. We’ve gone to war, seen thousands of troops die in the line of battle and witnessed a massive overhaul of our national security policies. Government agencies have expanded greatly to handle the ever-evolving threat of global terrorism, and it’s a reality we must face every day.

     Sometimes it’s easy to forget how good we have it. We get caught up in our day-to-day lives and stop paying attention to the things that matter most. Our jobs take precedence and we lose connection with family, friends and other things that should be priorities. 9/11 was a horrific and tramatizing event in America’s history. However, its anniversary provides us with the opportunity to reflect on what truely matters most.

     Our country lost 2,977 innocent lives on that crystal-clear September morning. It’s impossible to forget those exploding planes, burning towers and deperate bodies plummeting from the New York City skyline. It was surreal. It was awful. It was many things. But one thing it should never become is forgotten.

     The events of that day had a polarizing effect on 21st Century America. No longer could we live in a bubble immune from outside threats. Our enemies were very real and they penetrated our own backyards, instilling a temporary fear within the nation’s psyche. However, that fear was quickly consumed by a sense of anger, unity and patriotism. We banded together as one nation and realized we had a job to accomplish.

     That mission has become muddled in the eyes of some over a decade later. 9/11 led us into two long and deadly wars, and a many Americans are weary about entering conflicts that promise to thwart the spread of terrorism. These reservations are indeed justified. We must never forget that war comes with a cost in both life and money, and thoroughly evaluating each instance of trouble is vital before we move forward in this struggle against our enemies worldwide.

     2013 has given us no respite from ongoing global turmoil. The troubling situation in Syria has reached a boiling point in past two weeks, and it seems our nation is on the verge of yet another Middle Eastern conflict. Whether or not the parties involved could be classified as terrorists is open to interpretation. Our definition has expanded to include a wide range of rogue factions, and it has forced us into some entanglements we probably should steer clear from.

     As we stare into the face of uncertainty during the current situation, it’s important to take Sept. 11 as period of reflection and remembrance. Many people lost their lives that day, and many more died protecting this country in the aftermath. America must never rest on its laurels and become complacent in the post-9/11 world in which we live. That day showed us anything is possible. What we do with the lessons learned from those terrible events and the aftermath that ensued will be pinnacle as our country moves forward in these unstable times.