Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Opinion

September 8, 2013

A reason to be wary

This week, we mark the 12th anniversary of the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Nearly 3,000 people were killed as 19 al-Qaida terrorists hijacked four passenger jetliners. Two planes smashed into New York’s World Trade Center, causing the twin towers to fall. Another plowed into the Pentagon, and a fourth crashed into a field in western Pennsylvania.

Twelve years later, the scars remain fresh.

We remember when we got news of what had happened. We remember watching our television screens in stunned silence. We remember the anger. We remember the uncertainty and the fear.

We should take a moment this week to honor the men, women and children who died and the families they left behind.

We should particularly acknowledge the first responders who ran toward danger while others were rushing away.

And we should honor this nation’s men and women in uniform, who have served and sacrificed to keep our country safe.

We are more cautious now, a bit less trusting. So is it any wonder, after the decade-long war that resulted from the 9/11 attacks, polls last week revealed reluctance to strike Syria for using sarin gas against its own people?

Americans, by 48 percent to 29 percent, oppose the use of military action in Syria, a Pew poll said. Nearly 6 in 10 Americans are opposed to such strikes, an ABC News/Washington Post poll said.

We fear another endless, protracted war. But we are not living in fear.

A new tower rises above the New York skyline. Osama bin Laden is dead.

Last year, President Obama urged Americans to mark Sept. 11 as a National Day of Service and Remembrance.

The tradition dates to the immediate aftermath of the attacks, when Americans honored the memories of those who died by giving back to their communities.

They signed up for the military. They became police officers and firefighters. They rolled up their sleeves to donate blood and to serve those in need.

We must keep that spirit alive today and every day — even as we debate committing to more military action in the Middle East.

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