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September 11, 2015

I Don’t Want to Forget…

Joe Charlebois

Every year on my electronic calendar I have recurring reminders of a day I spent in Marietta, Georgia while my wife and children where in Frederick and thousands more spent in a fiery hell in New York, Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania.

The four reminders are:

8:46 AM – Flight 11 crashed into the New York World Trade Center’s North Tower.

9:03 AM – Flight 175 crashed into the New York World Trade Center’s South Tower.

9:37 AM – Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia

10:03 AM – Flight 93 crashed in a field near Shanksville in Somerset County Pennsylvania.

I have chosen to be reminded of the timeline each year by allowing my phone to buzz with the eerie reminder of the exact time each plane stopped flying and became a weapon of Islamic extremists. These reminders are to keep alive the memory of my fellow Americans, who perished at the hands of a group of evil men who claimed that they were carrying out their actions in the name of Allah.

I don’t know personally anyone who suffered a direct loss that September morning, but I do know that all of America suffered a collective mental anguish that was wholly consuming.

My shock finally turned to tears when Flight 93 went down. I had been to Shanksville a few times while my parents lived in Somerset County and it made the connection personal. Later I would learn that the co-pilot of Flight 77 shares the same name as one of my sons. It hurt then and it still hurts today.

They say that “time heals all wounds,” but I don’t want these wounds to heal. I still want to feel the pain. I am afraid that healing means forgetting. I don’t want to forget.

In the ensuing 14 years since 9/11, there have been like-minded terrorists, who have attempted to conduct their perverse jihad in America. Most of the attempts within our borders have been thwarted; some have outright failed while others have succeeded. Oversees, thousands of innocents have died at the hands of the Islamic State. Christians, Jews and even other Muslim adherents have been mutilated, drowned, decapitated, crucified and even burned alive. Others have been forced into marriages, slavery, or the sex trade.

The Islamic State and its surrogates and affiliates have grown in strength, numbers and credibility. This is due to the inept and latent response to their actions by the world’s leaders.

What was once a “JV” team that should have been eradicated is now literally a “murderer’s row” of fanatics with arms from the U.S., sophisticated internet reach, recruits from across the globe and apologists throughout the world. Apologists who still claim that they are adhering to a religion of peace. Regrettably, all of the world’s people who are alive today will never see a day where there is true peace.

The unity that was formed on September 12th has dissolved and most of America has moved on. They either don’t believe in the threat that is posed by the Islamic State, or worse, don’t care. I still care and hurt, which is why every year my phone will buzz and I’ll stop to remember.


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