Remembering 9/11

Most people don’t fly an American flag in their yards. I never understood that. I learned early on that having a flag on one’s house is a duty and responsibility. My parents taught me that.

This ideal has been part of my life since childhood and reinforced 17 years ago, following the tragic events of 9/11. It is an honor to be a patriot.

People in my neighborhood ask about flying a flag every day, and why I do it. People will ask today why my flag is at half-staff. Today is the 17th anniversary of 9/11. It is a day worth remembering and pondering the rights and privileges that we enjoy in this county.

My next door neighbor now flies a flag; I’m hoping that patriotism is contagious.

Now, 17 years later, those hundreds of people who perished in the World Trade Center buildings sacrificed all they had. A call to arms was issued shortly after this horrific event, and soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen answered that call. More than 4,440 have sacrificed all; more than 31,950 have been injured, and have sacrificed.

On the hallowed grounds in Pennsylvania, 44 people sacrificed their lives in order to protect others from a likely target in Washington, D.C.

Vice President Mike Pence remembered that sacrifice of those taken at the Pentagon attack on 9/11 by saying, "We will never forget what took place in this place on that fateful morning," Pence said at the Pentagon 9/11 memorial, saying he came to the ceremony to "pay a debt of honor and remembrance."

Pence said that 17 years after the attacks, the nation has remained empowered in its defense of freedom. "We must learn the lessons of 9/11 and remain ever vigilant in the defense of our nation and our people."

He added that terrorists on that day "sought to take the lives of our people and crumbled buildings, they hoped to break our spirit and they failed. The American people showed on that day and every day since, we will not be intimidated. Our spirit cannot be broken."

Some Americans have the wrong idea of what sacrifice truly means. It does mean standing for something, but something that really matters. Sacrifice is not a selfish display in corporate America but rather giving one’s all for the betterment of our friends and neighbors.

May we long remember the lives of those taken in sacrifice on 9/11.

About the Author

Ralph C. Jensen is editor-in-chief of Security Today magazine.

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