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Wed, Feb. 20
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Editorial: America cannot afford to forget Sept. 11

No one could imagine when they got out of bed on Sept. 11, 2001, how their world would change forever.

Just outside Berryville, in Clark County, Va., a couple left early for a flight on the ill-fated American Airlines Flight 77 enroute to Los Angeles. For another Clark County employee it was just another day of work, she thought, in the Pentagon. Little did these three people know they would nearly meet under the worst conditions one could imagine.

At 9:37:44 EDT Flight 77, after being hijacked earlier, plowed into the west side of the Pentagon at 530 mph.

It was the couple from Berryville's last ride, as all 64 people aboard their plane died when it crashed into the Pentagon. That was the day their children lost their parents and their grandchildren lost their grandparents at the hands of terrorists.

The Clark County resident in the Pentagon was only one hall away from where the nose of Flight 77 came to rest.

She remembers the boom when the plane hit, which felt like a giant earthquake to her. She will always remember how she was one of the lucky employees at the Pentagon to be moved to a new location a few days before the crash. That move saved her life.

She will also remember the problems they had getting out of the Pentagon through the dust, smoke and debris in the corridors and escape routes.

Another of her vivid memories is how difficult it was to actually re-enter the Pentagon days later. This woman and the families of the Berryville couple, will never forget Sept. 11, 2001, and the changes it brought.

These are just a couple examples of people directly affected by the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack.

We would hope Americans in general won't forget, but it seems many have in only six short years.

It is for certain the terrorists won't forget.

Islamic terrorists initially hit the World Trade Center on Feb. 26, 1993. They waited patiently for eight years before striking it again and destroying it, damaging the Pentagon, and narrowly missing damaging the White House when passengers foiled the attack in Pennsylvania.

Nothing would suit the terrorists more than for us to go back to our pre-Sept. 11, 2001, oblivious mode of operation.

We must keep our guard up as it is only a matter of time before the terrorists try something again in the United States.

That also is why we must support our military in its fight in Iraq.

Let us learn from, and never forget, the Sept. 11 attack.

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