Monday, September 11, 2006

Thoughts on the fifth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001:

This afternoon, when I finally had a chance to sit down and read today's Wall Street Journal, I had a profound sense of sadness envelope me. Tears fell on the page as I read the accounts of the volunteer ambassadors who guide tourists (perhaps pilgrims would be a better term?) at the crash site of Flight 93 near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. I remember the shock and horror I felt as I watched the BBC reporting the attack on our country while I sat in a quiet town in rural North Yorkshire five years ago. I remember shutting off the images on the set to pray the rosary with my kids for the people who died and who were dying at that moment. But I couldn't keep the television off that day. Or the next day. Or the next. The images were horrifying, but I needed to see it repeated over and over again in order to believe it was real.

Today wasn't as horrifyingly shocking, but it was a day of sadness for me. I mourned the hundreds of fire fighters who ran into the building while everyone else was running out. I mourned the brave passengers of Flight 93 who prevented the terrorists from causing even more harm that day. The thousands of office workers who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

President Bush's speech was stirring and to-the-point. I liked the fact that he addressed those who criticize the war in Iraq. And he told us that we are at war. Those who are serving in our armed forces today are fighting a war for civilization. And they are all volunteers. They are serving because they believe in freedom and they believe we can win the war against terrorism. God bless our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines and all those who serve in harm's way.

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