On this somber anniversary, Americans should take a little time to reflect on the people who make our country great.
We owe a huge debt of gratitude to the men and women of our military who fight for our freedoms every day. They join the service out of a strong sense of pride and patriotism, and they believe in the American way of life. Many have put in multiple tours of duty in our fight against terrorism, and some have paid the ultimate price and never come home. This is a somber day for our men and women in uniform, and their vigilance and loyalty to our great nation should never be forgotten.
We also should appreciate and thank family members of servicemen and women. When they see their loved ones sent overseas, they never know whether they will see them again. They deserve our love and support more than ever on this day.
Our Marana Police Department is filled with dedicated men and women, including Officer Dan Rowan, who was a New York City firefighter on the scene 10 years ago. Listening to his stories about first responders’ heroism and sacrifices is inspirational and makes me feel fortunate to know that heroes walk among us every day. Our community is lucky to have police officers and firefighters like Dan as well as paramedics and others from the medical field who save lives on a daily basis.
We all remember where we were when terrorists hijacked four airliners and did such horrific damage on Sept. 11, 2001. It started as a typical Tuesday across our great nation, people going through their daily routines at work, at home and at rest. The day ended as a tragedy the likes of which I hope we never see again in our great nation.
Terrorists may have destroyed the World Trade Center and damaged the Pentagon, but they did not take away the American spirit that exists inside all of us. One of the most telling examples came on that same dark day, when passengers on United Airlines Flight 93 overtook the hijackers to thwart their plans of attacking another Washington landmark.
The flight, which as we all know tragically crashed in a Pennsylvania field, was filled with people who were aware of the three other tragic events that day and took measures into their own hands to avoid further casualties. Forty innocent people died that day, but in doing so, they saved the lives of countless others. These were everyday Americans who did the extraordinary.
We can all do our part to honor the heroes and victims from 10 years ago. We can give blood, donate our time to charitable causes or participate in activities that honor the memories of those who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001.
This is a time to think about what makes this country great and rise above the horrible acts performed by a small group of evil men. It’s the best way to honor those who lost their lives that day and those who continue serving America, here and abroad, in whatever ways they can.
Ed Honea is mayor of Marana.