It's hard to believe that 10 years have passed since the events of Sept. 11, 2001.

Yet, a decade later, the images from 8:46 a.m., when American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into north tower of the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan; and 9:03 a.m., when United Airlines Flight 175 crashed into the south tower, remained seared in our collective memory.

By the time it was reported that American Airlines Flight 77 had flown into the Pentagon at 9:37 a.m., it was obvious that something terrible was happening. Then United Airlines Flight 93 crashed near Shanksville, Pa., at 10:03 a.m.

At 9:59 a.m., the south World Trade Center tower collapsed. At 10:28 a.m., the north tower fell.


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So many historic events have taken place in the difficult decade since. Some historians refer to the years from 2000 to 2009 as "the aughts." Writing for the Baltimore Sun, Jill Rosen on Dec. 27, 2009, called our attention to Time magazine's choice for the decade's moniker: "The Decade from Hell."

Ten years after 9/11, we don't need to see the pictures or the video footage of the World Trade Center. We know them all too well.

There are no words that appropriately address the horror of 19 sociopaths hijacking airplanes and killing 2,977 innocent people from more than 90 different countries — and a bomb-sniffing dog named Sirius.

Like many people, I say a quiet prayer every time I hear the sound of the fire siren. Often, when I am around the brave men and women who run into danger when others are running away, I think of the 343 New York City firefighters, 23 New York City police officers and 37 Port Authority police officers who lost their lives that day heroically trying to save others.

It strikes me that while many of us were having cookouts over the three-day Labor Day weekend, men and women in uniform were serving around the world defending freedom and our way of life so that — optimistically — we might have seen the last 9/11 in our lifetime.

Already, 20 percent of living Americans were either too young on 9/11 to have any memory of that day or weren't yet born. For their sake, and for the sake of the generations yet to come, we cannot forget the events of 10 years ago. We all know freedom isn't free, and citizenship comes with responsibilities. One of those responsibilities is to remember.

I hope that residents of Carroll County will take the opportunity to attend one of the several memorial services that will take place on Sept. 11.

Memorials are not about taking us back to the past, but about promises we make to our children for the future.

After memorial services commemorating the 9/11 anniversary, Kevin Dayhoff may be reached at kevindayhoff@gmail.com.