9/11 Sixteen Years Later: Remember The Horror

Today marks the 16th anniversary of that dark day, when Islamic jihadis killed 2,996 of our friends, neighbors, and loved ones. In the years since, many more have died of diseases from the pollutants. In the years since, Islamic jihadis have killed and wounded tens of thousands, many of who are other Muslims who haven’t bought into their cult of death.  Four years ago, the USA Today wondered if 9/11 is becoming just another day, similar to Pearl Harbor Day. Based on the limited coverage by some news outlets, it may be.

People wonder why we should Remember the day in an overt fashion, unlike, say, Pearl Harbor day. Well, we defeated the Japanese within a few years. It was a different type of war. 9/11 was when we were attacked on our continent by people who will not stop anytime soon, an enemy that is not centralized by a nation, who spread according to their religious tenets. Al Qaeda is still around. Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, Boko Haram, the rise of ISIS. There are numerous Islamist groups out there. And we cannot forget that it is not just about the violence, but about those who use our own laws, founding documents, and societal mores against Western nations to slowly infiltrate and change our nations. The 9/11 Commission chairman has stated that the threat from Islamic terrorism is worse now than in 2001.

Why should we never forget? Things like this (click the more tag)

We remember the patriotism of the day, and the days after. We remember the heroism of so many. Think of all the firefighters who rushed into the Towers to help, even as people streamed down the same stairwells. The police and paramedics who rushed to the scene. The doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel who worked to save so many. The citizens who helped others. And all the first responders, along with the military folks, at the Pentagon. The average citizens on Flight 93, who said “Let’s Roll!” and took the plane down before it could completely its jihadi mission. The NY Times editorial board has a very nice piece on remembering.

One thing that we often forget is the actual horror of the day, the terror. We forget things like

But, do we truly, truly remember the horror?

Nothing encapsulates the terror of the day like people falling from the Towers. Live video showed people hanging on to the side of a skyscraper, so high up that no one could possibly save them. And it showed them falling. Some lost their grip. Some jumped. Think about that. How bad does it have to be that someone would jump from over 50 stories up?

The networks quickly stopped showing this on the day, and limited photos and videos in the days after. Some things are just too much to bear. And they certainly did not show things like this

You are seeing what you think you’re seeing.

Someone figured out that there are bodies and body parts in every red box. The rips in the canopy aren’t all from falling debris. Some are from people.

There’s also the long video The Falling Man. And 102 Minutes That Changed America. There’s a scene where you are viewing the courtyard at the WTC, listening to an elevator music version of Billy Joel’s She’s Always A Woman, and you hear thumps. Those are people.

There are even more horrible pictures from the day, those of the people who actually hit. That horror we can avoid. But, while we should always remember the heroism of the day, the coming together, we shouldn’t forget the horror, the despair, the terror. Because the people who did this have not gone away. They’ve gotten stronger. And they’d do it again if given a chance.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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