This weekend we are remembering and honoring the thousands of Americans who died as a result of the terror attack on the United States on our own soil. September 11,2001, several men dedicated to attempt to destroy the unity of Americans hijacked four planes and set out on a mission of destruction. What they accomplished was the creation of a new resolve that strenthened our country.
At least two of the men began their destructive mission right here in Portland. Two of the planes were flown into the World Trade Center Twin Towers in New York City. Both Towers were destroyed as the giant passenger planes slammed into them. All the passengers and thousands in the buildings were killed.
Another commercial passenger plane attempted but failed to hit the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. More Americans died. It is unclear if the Pentagon was the original target for the hijackers but perhaps the White House or congressional buildings were the real target.
By the time hijackers had taken over the fourth plane, the news had spread rapidly via cell phones and heroic passengers aboard that one took matters into their own hands. As the plane was forced to turn back to Washington, the heroes forced the plane to crash in Pennsylvania. All were killed but will remain as heroes to all Americans.
Everyone who was alive on that fateful Sept. 11, 2001, remembers vividly the details and what they were doing when the United States was forced into a near shutdown. I was in charge of a computer network at the time and was busily upgrading a bunch of machines when the TV first interrupted with the news. That news spread fast.
I think most of us believed that America was again in a global war not of our making. As it turned out, those beliefs were closer to reality than we had hoped. That war against terrorism continues today.
America has changed since that fateful day 10 years ago. Some of the change, perhaps, has been good for us. Some it it hasn't.
This weekend will see many memorial events, both here in Maine and throughout the United States, to honor those who lost their lives in the attack. A new tower in New York is nearing completion and memorials to all who were involved, including a big memorial on the site of that plane crash in Pennsylvania, will honor our heroes.
No doubt you can find an event near to you.
This reflects on my remembrance of those events. I'll bet you have many memories of your own to think about as we spend this weekend memorializing the worse terror attack America has ever seen. And while it's all taking place, our nation is bracing to stop yet another threat believed to have been planned for this weekend. Perhaps the death earlier this year on the mastermind of that attack ten years ago has negated this year's threat.