Wednesday we mark the 18th 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.

We should take a moment this week, even today, 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. Yet after the decade-long war that resulted from the 9/11 attacks, a Newsweek poll from this past July found that under President Trump, Americans fear ISIS significantly less than they did just two years ago.

In 2017, 70% of Americans believed ISIS to be a major security threat to the United States. Today, Newsweek found, just a bit more than half hold that view.

The nation wants the ISIS threat contained, but it might still fear another endless, protracted war.

Six years ago, 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.

We must keep that spirit alive.

Kokomo Tribune editorial board

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