In Memory of Those Who Died

Submitted by kvaughn on Sun, 09/11/2011 - 01:00

On this 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, I encourage everyone to consider the lessons of 9/11 and the sacrifices made by so many in our country.

In particular, I want to remind people of the continued threats to our country. Before 9/11, it was easy to ignore terrorist threats. We heard about plots, but nothing ever seemed to really come of them. Our country was enjoying the "peace dividend" from the end of the Cold War, and we felt invincible. 9/11 changed that mindset, bringing the cold reality of these national security threats to life.

Shortly after 9/11 the country was on edge, particularly here in Washington and in other key cities. We became more aware of our surroundings and reported things that were out of the ordinary. Over the past decade, the vigilance of ordinary Americans has repeatedly thwarted attacks against our country.

I was reminded of this on Friday, when I received a text from one of my sons, who attends Tulane University. While the media did not widely report it, on Friday morning, Tulane University received a bomb threat in relation to a 9/11 memorial being built on campus. Classes were canceled and the FBI was called in. I have heard differing reports on what was found, but no one was hurt. Nonetheless, we should constantly remind ourselves to be aware of our environment and report anything suspicious, especially this weekend.

In fact, we should adopt this attitude in relation to all threats to our lives and liberty. We should always heed warnings and take appropriate actions after proper investigations. We need to remember that the threat of a terrorist attack seemed unrealistic on September 10, 2001, even though we had been warned. What warnings do we hear today that we need to take more seriously?

Our freedoms make this the greatest country in the world, and we should constantly be prepared to identify threats to those freedoms. We should also remember those who have fallen in trying to protect us and our freedoms.

Ken Vaughn