All of us can remember where we were that bright, crisp September morning eight years ago when we learned the depth of evil and irrationality that drives fanatical Islamic beliefs.
Islamic terrorists from Saudi Arabia hijacked four airliners. They flew two of them into the twin towers of New York's World Trade Center. Another group flew one into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. Investigators think hijackers of a fourth plane planned to fly it into either the U.S. Capitol or the White House. A group of brave passengers fought back and forced the hijackers to crash the plane into a field in Pennsylvania.
The death toll from that cowardly act now stands at 2,752 people. That includes young children dropped off at a day care center in the twin towers, many people headed to what they thought would be another Tuesday at the office, and others boarding planes for business trips or visits with distant family members. And let's not forget the brave police, firefighters and emergency medical personnel who died trying to save those trapped in the flames.
Before that morning, who would have thought that one group of human beings could hate others so virulently that they would give up their own lives to take the lives of so many unsuspecting innocents?
Sadly, now we know, and the world can never be the same again.
Today - is the day for us - each in our own way - to remember all of the good, decent, innocent souls who harmed no one, but who died so horribly. Their crime was their very existence and not believing in the warped theology of the terrorists.
We must never forget them.
What's far more important, we must never again think we ever will be able to let down our guard from another attack. Americans have the attention span of a flashbulb. The people who struck on Sept. 11 have been holding grudges against the non-Islamic world since the crusades.
Today, let us honor and remember those we lost and never, ever forget how we lost them.