WTVM Editorial 09/12/23: Never Forget 9/11

Published: Sep. 12, 2023 at 3:39 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Monday of this week was the 22nd anniversary of the Islamic-extremist terror attacks in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.

Airliners heavy with fuel were used as bombs that day and forever changed our ideas about terrorism.

And just a few days ago, two more of the 2,753 people killed at the World Trade Center were finally identified by DNA.

It may be as surprising to you as it was to me to learn that 40 percent of the victims that day have never been positively identified. That’s over one thousand people.

Of course, their families know they are gone and still feel it 22 years later. But none of those 1,000 people’s remains exist or have ever been found.

It’s also startling that the Associated Press reported that two months before 9/11, the Arizona office of the FBI noticed large numbers of Arab-born students training at US flight schools.

The local office suggested the DC office investigate. But those concerns went unheeded until after 9/11.

It’s also been reported that the CIA had been surveilling some of the hijackers in Malaysia in January of 2001. But the CIA lost their trail, even after one of them entered the US. The CIA took 16 more months to alert the FBI and by then it was too late.

So, we’re still learning more about the failures of 9/11 each year as the anniversaries grow larger in number.

Also growing each year is the number of Americans born after 2001, who have no memory of that day - unlike many of us who witnessed at least the second airliner hit the World Trade Center in real time.

22 years later, it’s important we remember that dark day so we can keep learning about it.

The Defense Department in congressional testimony just last March warned that “Al Qaeda remains a long-term threat to American interests and citizens.”

That’s why we should never forget 9/11.