Friday, September 9, 2011

Remembering tragic events ... now, and forever

By Mike Ullery

Chief Photographer

It is difficult to believe that 10 years have passed since that tragic day in September of 2001.

Much has changed since four aircraft, taken over by terrorists, altered the way we live.

I am still saddened and angered by the alterations and adaptations we have been forced to make in the days and years following September 11, 2001.

In spite of the fact that many terrorists, including 9/11/01 mastermind Osama Bin Laden have been killed, we are still puppets being played by terrorists and terrorism.

Surveillance cameras can be found, (or not found), everywhere. Our every move is monitored. Some good has come from this as the cameras also serve to assist in identifying and locating criminals. The bottom line is that we have surrendered our freedom to not have lives monitored by “big brother.”

Anyone wishing to travel, especially by air, is subjected to time consuming and, in many cases, humiliating searches in order to board an aircraft.

The TSA released a statement this week stating that Americans are safer now that we were in 2001. My question is, “At what cost?”

In my mind’s-eye, I envision terrorists sending carefully worded messages to each other, hinting at possible terror plots in the United States, fully aware that these messages are being intercepted and read by our counter-terror experts. They write these messages, while seated in their Lazy Boy recliner, never intending to actually perpetrate the terror act. They can just have fun watching us go nuts trying to stop them … and at the same time, further eroding our formerly unalienable rights.

We will not have won anything until the day we can climb on a commercial aircraft in this country without undergoing X-rays and a full-body search.

I do not care if it takes profiling to get the job done. I have no sympathy for Muslims living in this country. When their freedom of religion interferes with our freedom and endangers our very lives, get rid of them. From where I stand, they have done nothing to assist in our efforts to eradicate Muslim terrorists from our country. Sitting idly by is the same as offering a helping hand.

As we prepare to commemorate the anniversary of this solemn day, I know that all of us will take a few moments to remember exactly where we were, and what we were doing, when we began receiving news that those gutless hijackers-turned-executioners were killing thousands of innocent Americans.

We need to honor and remember the victims. We must also honor the sacrifices made by police, fire and rescue personnel on that day, and in succeeding days.

Many communities, including our own, are holding events to remember 9/11/01. The Piqua community will be holding A Day of Honor at Fountain Park on Sunday. It is important that we never forget and that we continue to honor everyone whose lives were touched by those acts of terror.

I can’t help but notice the comparison in this 10th anniversary of 9/11/01 to recent anniversaries of Dec. 7, 1941. Just because we have lost most members of the generations who were alive to witness the tragic “Day of Infamy,” does not lessen the day’s impact on our world. Yet, many of our children do not even know what happened on that December day in 1941.

Both dates mark terrible tragedies. Let us never forget either, lest we be doomed to let history repeat itself, again.

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