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On September 11, 2001, 2,977 innocent souls were lost and over 6,000 people were injured at the hands of 19 murderers.
This was not just an attack on the USA because those fatalities included 373 people from 58 other countries, not counting the murderers themselves. This was not a military attack, as only 55 fatalities were military members and 70 additional civilians working at the Pentagon.
The fatalities included 8 children, the youngest only 2 1/2. Every major religion was represented in the innocent victims, including 31 Muslims (again, not counting the murderers), one of whom was seven months pregnant.
This was an attack on all of the world and all of the world’s religions. This was a heinous act of murder of innocent lives. Frankly, it was as dishonorable as the crazy people who shoot up schools or movie theaters because they know their victims can’t fight back.
We will also never forget the incredible heroism of the day. We honor the 343 firefighters and 63 law enforcement officers who gave their lives – and the over 2,000 that suffered injuries of some sort. We honor the 29 passengers plus crew on United 93 who made the ultimate sacrifice to ensure that no more planes took innocent lives. We honor the untold number of people who lost their lives helping strangers escape. We honor the crews and their canines who spent weeks trying to find more survivors, many of whom today suffer from illnesses or have died from working that site. And we honor all of the servicemen and women of the various nations who have been on the front lines to eradicate the possibility of another such event.
And we honor all those, somewhere, who took time from their day to help a stranger. Traveling on business myself that fateful day, I watched people offer rides to people who had no way to get home without the airlines. It was a day where we treated each other well and thought nothing of helping a stranger.
All of it – we will never forget. Never.
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