Dont let the loss shadow the lesson

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 5, 2006

I was sitting in Spanish lab during my freshmen year at Samford when the girls sitting next to me asked if I had heard about the plane crashing in to the World Trade Center.

&8220;I&8217;m sure it was just an accident,&8221; I said, shrugging off her question and going back to my studies.

Hours later I found myself staring in disbelief.

I had watched the scene hundreds of times on the national news as planes were flown into the trade center towers and as the two giants collapsed like stacks of cards in the wind.

Five years later, I still find myself cringing every time I see the replay of the second plane coming into view. I still turn away when a businessman loses hope and jumps to his death instead of facing the flames inside the burning building.

These are memories that will not soon go away from my mind, nor the minds of an entire nation that watched the towers, and our country&8217;s safety, come crashing down into a gigantic pile of rubble.

While these are the kind of memories most people would rather forget, it&8217;s important that we do the opposite.

The senseless killings on September 11, 2001 left all of us wondering why the people in those towers and on four airplanes deserved to die.

While that question can never be answered, we cannot lose sight of the fact that those deaths gave our nation a much-needed wake-up call to the realization that we are not indestructible and that our nation is by no means perfect.

It&8217;s hard to look back the violence and carnage of September 11, but easy to look forward to what it teaches us for the future.

Long lines at the airport and color-coated terror alerts are now a part of our way of life, and we as citizens of this nation should never forget the example of what happens when we take safety for granted.

We may not agree with every decision or government makes, and we may feel alarmed by the loss of privacy that we&8217;ve had to endure. But the truth is, we should feel grateful for the fact that we are here today because of such safety measures while thousands of innocent men and women are not.

The city of Helena will hold a candlelight vigil in Buck Creek next Monday at 7 p.m. to honor the memory of the lives lost on September 11. In addition, the city of Hoover will hold a Patriot Day remembrance ceremony at the public service building at 8:30 a.m. while all of the city&8217;s fire stations will conduct their own ceremonies.

Nobody wants to remember the horrific images of September 11, but it&8217;s our responsibility to remember those people who lost their lives.

Their sacrifice has made our nation a safer place to live