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President's Ponderings: September 11

By Edward Luttrell - President's Ponderings Blog (9/9/11)

  SEPTEMBER 10, 2011 --

Sunday is the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C. The Pentagon has been repaired, the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center may be gone, but rebuilding proceeds at the site of the worst attack on American soil, and a permanent memorial to the passengers of flight 93 in Pennsylvania is already a reality.

Remembering what happened 10 years ago is important. Many of us vividly recall what we were doing when we heard of the attack. Others have vague recollections or have only seen pictures because of their age. We should remember and honor those who died, but also those who survived and have dealt with the loss of their Mom or Dad, a Son or Daughter, a Husband or Wife, or their friends.

September 11, 2001 was a day that changed the lives of many Americans. Some dealt with personal loss, others joined the military or became more involved in their community. We suddenly became aware that others in the world hated us and were willing to die in order to kill us.

For me on the West Coast, the day was a shock as we saw on TV the terror and destruction that New Yorkers experienced. I felt sadness for those there and anger toward those who had committed this atrocity. The days following 9/11 were ones that showed how badly our nation had been struck, and also the resiliency of the American people, as we dealt with the grounding of all air traffic and so much more. About the 20th of that month, I flew to Baltimore and took a shuttle into D.C. for a scheduled interview at the National Grange headquarters. As we entered the city after 11 p.m., the attacks become more personal and emotional than they had been. As we passed the White House and saw soldiers with their rifles at the ready, standing on every street corner, I felt the change our country had experienced in a much more emotional way.

This year on the 11th, I’ll be at an event that our Grange co-sponsors for the community of Boring, Ore. We will remember the importance of the day with several special activities, and celebrate the importance of community spirit in Boring.

I hope this Sunday, you will take a moment to reflect on what happened ten years ago, remember those who lost their lives or had their lives changed forever, and think about the strength it has given the people of our nation. September 11 was a horrible day for America, but is was also a moment that showed each of us the strength we have as Americans.

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