Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

Opinion

September 13, 2012

Keeping the memories and lessons of Sept. 11

The 11th anniversary of Sept. 11 passed fairly quietly and uneventfully for most Americans on Tuesday. The number of memorial services seems to diminish each year, as does the national recognition of the date.

But Sept. 11 shouldn’t ever pass without all of us taking time to remember the thousands of Americans who died as a result of the terrorist attacks of that terrible day, and the sacrifices made by our armed servicemen and women. Over 3,000 died on American soil in New York City, Washington D.C., and Pennsylvania, including four Andover residents honored with a memorial plaque in Town Offices. In the years since, America has lost some 6,600 servicemen and women in the wars we have fought in Iraq and Afghanistan. Many thousands more have returned from the war with wounds that will affect them for the rest of their lives.

We’re glad Andover takes the time each Sept. 11 morning to have a simple ceremony remembering Sept. 11 and honoring those who were lost, including Andover residents Christopher Morrison, who died in the World Trade Center; grandmother Millie Naiman and flight attendant Betty Ong, who died when American Airlines Flight 11 hit the Trade Center; and Len Taylor, who died when American Airlines Flight 77 hit the Pentagon.

Eleven years after Sept. 11, 2001, we need to remain on guard — not only against further terrorist attacks but also against the fading of memory.

It is too easy to forget how a clear September day was shattered by the smashing of jets laden with innocent passengers into the twin towers of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

It is too easy to forget the confusion, shock and anger as the nation watched the towers crumble in massive clouds of dust and debris, the sight of desperate people leaping to their deaths, the bravery of hundreds of firefighters who climbed the stairwells of the towers as others fled in panic.

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