Originally Published: September 9, 2008 2:55 p.m.
Most people who were alive when John F. Kennedy lost his life to an assassin on November 22, 1963, remember exactly where they were and what they were doing when the news came.
Sept. 11, 2001 had that same surreal quality. We attempted to process the ongoing events as they played out on the television monitors and radio airwaves.
In our lifetimes, we had never experienced an attack on American soil. As we waited and watched, another and yet another plane crashed. The World Trade Centers and the Pentagon burned. More people died. And then even worse images - people who had no other way out, leapt from the upper floors of the World Trade Center buildings. And then the towers collapsed, killing many of those who were in a desperate race to save those inside.
The FEMA Southwest Incident Management Team, with firefighters from the Yavapai County area, was aboard the only civilian plane in the air on Sept. 12. The team spent a month at Ground Zero, doing what they could to find those who might still be alive in the rubble, recover bodies of those who died, and secure the safety of rescuers, police, firefighters and volunteers who flooded in to help.
Today, some of us have forgotten our promise to find and punish those responsible. We are tired as we fight a slow, ever-changing and sometimes confusing war on a mosaic of battlefields.
On Thursday, we will mourn the nearly 3,000 people who died on Sept. 11, 2001, because someone dared to do the unthinkable right here in America. We again must resolve to never forget, and to stay the course to stop these terrorists who will stop at nothing to destroy us.
We must remember, because we don't ever want to experience a day like that again.