The impacts of 9/11 are still with us today

Published 1:00 pm Monday, September 11, 2023

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By State Sen. Greg Elkins

On Monday, America will stand in remembrance of the lives lost on September 11, 2001, in the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City, the Pentagon, and an open field in Pennsylvania.

It’s hard to believe we are so far removed from that tragic day in our nation’s history. I’ve heard from people who were children that day describe how it shook and forever altered the very foundation of their lives. Some have said they felt their childhood ended that day when an act of terror forced them to confront the realities of life.

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The post-9/11 world brought many challenges, including war and the debate of surveillance and liberty versus security. The evil act of the few indeed brought the horrors to our doorstep. Still, I am encouraged to hear from young and old alike who say they developed a greater appreciation for America’s values and the men and women in our armed forces who answered the call of duty to bring those who perpetrated the attacks to justice.

The bravery and selflessness of the first responders on September 11, 2001, is something I think about often. We have men and women here in our local communities who selflessly serve every day, and that’s what the New York City firefighters, law enforcement, and EMS did on that fateful day: charging into the Twin Towers to attempt to render aid and rescue those trapped. There are several documentaries and films that highlight the many heroes of that day. Please watch them if you can. They can serve as a way for us never to forget the sacrifices of the first responders. They can also provide younger generations with a perspective of what 9/11 means in the psyche of our nation’s history.

While our nation remains divided in many ways, we still have the potential to see the absolute good in our fellow Americans and unite in the face of stark division.

In reflection on the 22nd anniversary of 9/11, let’s seek the good in our neighbors first. We owe that small measure of humility to those we have lost and who have sacrificed so much for it.

Let us pray for comfort and peace for the families whose loved ones died that day and in the years since then as our military continues to defend our great nation.

Senator Greg Elkins, R-Winchester, represents the 28th Senate District, including Bath, Clark, Menifee, and Montgomery Counties and an eastern portion of Fayette County.