We once promised to “Never Forget” the events of Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001, but it feels like the further removed we get from that horrific date, the less we seem to respect the significance of it and honor the sacrifice made by so many people on that day and beyond.
Nineteen years ago Osama Bin Laden declared war on the United States by way of 19 terrorists who hijacked four planes, crashing two into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, one into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and one (forced) into the ground in Pennsylvania when a group of heroes on board the plane took matters into their own hands.
The majority of the 2,977 Americans that died that day were civilians. Average Janes and Joes who woke up that morning and went to work at the Trade Center or the Pentagon and moms, dads, grandmas, grandpas, sons and daughters, who after kissing their loved one’s goodbye earlier that morning at East Coast airports, hopped aboard planes they thought were bound for better places.
Imagine the horror of being trapped in a flying metal can and being held hostage by savage, heartless humans, while watching the world go by at 600 m.p.h. — not knowing how soon it would all end but knowing the end was near.
Other immediate casualties of 9/11 were the brave men and women in uniform who first responded to the scene of the crime at the World Trade Center. The 343 firefighters and 77 law enforcement officers who ran headlong into two burning skyscrapers with no idea that they were sealing their own fate.
They couldn’t have known that both towers would come down, killing them as they tried in vain to save their American brothers and sisters regardless of color, creed, sexual orientation or political ideology.
Even if they did, I doubt it would have stopped them from trying.
Then there are the casualties of the endless wars that followed — our brave military men and women who marched first into Afghanistan seeking revenge on Bin Laden and all who supported him and later into Iraq for reasons we were told were related to 9/11 but in reality, were much more selfish.
And the death toll continued to rise.
Through 2019, according to U.S. government figures, 6,967 American soldiers have died on the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq and another 52,802 have been injured.
Still, despite all that sacrifice, and all that death, and all the countless fallout since, some in this country have decided to forget while others have trivialized the events of that day.
This year meaningful coverage of the anniversary in newspapers and on televisions was as sparse as it has ever been. Whether those who control the media outlets tasked with bringing us the news have chosen to forget or to omit is up for debate.
But no one can argue that “Never Forget,” is slowly being forgotten in some circles or, at the very least, is clearly not a priority in our current state.
The reality on the ground in 2020 is that less than two decades after this country came together as one and proclaimed our love for the Americans that have chosen to dedicate their lives to protecting ours, the narrative has been flipped on its head.
A truly meaningful slogan, “Never forget,” has been replaced with the foolish chorus to “defund the police,” by a minority of pampered woke folks removed from reality and bent on destruction and anarchy.
In some cases, those media outlets that did cover the topic used the anniversary to push propaganda related to more recent narrative. For example, the lead story in the USA Today last Friday was a bloated and lazy opinion piece disguised as a feature comparing the COVID-19 experience thus far to the events of Sept. 11, 2001.
The writer made a thin, and by now all too familiar argument about the “new normal,” and that the fallout from the virus will change life as we knew it pre-pandemic in a way similar to what we experienced after 9/11.
It’s not surprising that a left leaning rag like the USA Today would go that route. They sprinkle their product with misleading headlines on a daily basis and regularly place stories in such a fashion that pushes their agenda forward.
The two experiences share very little in common besides death, conspiracy theories out that both COVID and 9/11 were inside jobs and/or terrorist attacks and that they are (and were) extremely newsworthy events, in their respective moments.
To the credit of the USA Today, at least there was some acknowledgement of the historic nature of 9/11 and a mention of how the events of that day changed the world as we knew it similar to the way the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor had done in 1941.
Sadly, too many news outlets and newspapers across this fine land failed to even mention the anniversary by way of a story, a photo, or even a tiny mention on the jump page.
That was a disgrace and an omission that many of those who have chosen to “Never Forget,” will not forget anytime soon.