But, sadly, within months we returned to life as before, basically forgetting the horrendous effect the terror attacks had on our country.
Then, Mayor Bloomberg and the people of New York government decided to put together a 10th anniversary celebration. Sounds good on the surface. But when you look at the mistakes they made in planning the event, the memorial is dwarfed by what was omitted. First, the first responders who had been a part of that terrible event were left out. No room. Want to know why? Because they needed room for the government officials. Not a single Congressman rushed into either of those buildings when they were hit by the cowards who had commandeered the planes. Not a single Senator led anyone down a dark stairwell to safety, only to perish while returning for another. There were no mayors, governors or assemblymen wearing hard hats and running in the direction of the explosion while everyone else was running away.
This may have been the most short-sighted decision ever made by anyone planning anything.
Next was the elimination of any religious presence. How quickly we forget that for days and even weeks after the 9/11 attacks, special services were held at churches all over the city of New York City and even the rest of America. Psalm 9:17 gives us a sobering warning about the nations that forget God.
I was appreciative that there were celebrations elsewhere in America, such as the ones in Scioto County on Saturday and Sunday. The brave firefighters, police officers, first responders of all types, and other selfless people were given their just honor.
When I heard Capt. Leslie Battle sing our national anthem Saturday night I was stirred to my soul. It was moving to see this obviously great American who has served her country stand in front of the gigantic American flag and render a song that neither Christina Aguilera nor Cyndi Lauper could take the time to learn before standing in front of thousands.
I believe we must never forget the attacks of 9/11 and that they should be a stark reminder to the vulnerability of life, and at the same time, the heroism of Americans.
I think regular Americans should plan the 20th anniversary, and make room for the heroes, the religious leaders and the families of those who lost loved ones. And if there is no room for the politicians ... so be it.
FRANK LEWIS may be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 232, or email@example.com.