As we live, certain events remain with us forever. Traumatic events and experiences often persist as part of our conscious as long as we retain our long-term memory. On the early morning of December 7th, 1941, Japan launched a surprise attack on America at Pearl Harbor. On December 8th, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared war with Japan. In his famous broadcast, he noted that "... this date shall live in infamy." The attack on Pearl Harbor and the declaration of war by President Truman ushered the United States into World War II because our liberty and freedom were under attack.
Another date that will live in infamy is September 11th, 2001. The contemporary nomenclature for denoting this date is 911 or 9-11. Those of us who experienced the devastating attacks on our country will perpetually have the images in our minds. Indelibly imprinted in our memory are the planes crashed in the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York, the crash of Flight 93 in Pennsylvania and the devastation at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia.
Later, we learned that more than 3,000 of our innocent citizens and first responders lost their lives in these heinous attacks. Those horrible images return anew each time the news video is shown in the media. We recognized that we are one nation undivided and united in grief as a single nation in sadness for our fellow man.
We demonstrated that we can be one nation united with a common bond, and that bond was love for our nation. Other insignificant differences seemed to fade as we interacted with and consoled our "fellow countrymen" about the tragedy that struck our nation. We felt that the attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the crashing of Flight 93 in Pennsylvania had united the nation. On this date, united we stood and cared unconditionally for our fellow man and nation.
As we pause to observe the terrorist attack on our nation, let us not forget that those who perished in the attacks on our nation on September 11th, 2001, will always be remembered. Memorials in Washington, in Pennsylvania and in New York at what is known as Ground Zero will bear the names of those killed in the attacks on freedom.
We must remember that each individual killed in the attacks has family and friends who will forever be affected because of the loss of their loved ones. The attack on our country is a constant reminder that we must protect our country from attacks from within and from foreign enemies if freedom is to remain free.
As we observe this date, let us remember our military personnel that is protecting us at home and abroad. Recognition is afforded those who perished in the 9-11 tragedy and to those who continue to suffer from the experience of "Another date that will live in infamy" in the hearts of true Americans.
Dr. Charles W. Bonds