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What it means to remember | News

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What it means to remember
What it means to remember

Ten years ago, at the time this article was posted -- 8:46 am New York time -- American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Seventeen minutes later at 9:03 am, United Airlines Flight 175 struck the South Tower. At 9:37 am, American Airlines Flight 77 flew into the west wing of the Pentagon. And at 10:03, United Airlines flight 93 crashed in a Pennsylvania field. Its likely target: the White House.

2,977 Americans lost their lives that day.

It's hard to believe ten years have passed since then. Most of us remember the images: the violent explosions; smoke billowing from the impacts; the first, then second tower collapsing; people leaping to their deaths because there was no other way to escape the flames.

How horrific it must have been for those present. Shockwaves rippled through the city streets as shattered glass and searing ash rained furiously from the sky. The searing heat from the flames and acrid smoke, the thunderous crash and piercing sirens, wails and screams of the injured and dying, all forming a symphony of utter chaos; it must have seemed too much to bear.

And yet somehow, we did. Because ten years later, we are still here.

In a time when political tensions are at a fever pitch, even during a seemingly endless economic recession and debate about who should be allowed to marry whom and what taxes and programs should be cut; we cannot forget that. We cannot afford to take that fact for granted.

That's what we mean when we say, "We must always remember."