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Be ever vigilant [Editorial]

It was 16 years ago this week when terrorists shocked us out of our comfortable lives and made it clear no one is safe from the zealots whose only mission in life is to end or disrupt as many lives as possible.

Sept. 11, 2001, is forevermore known in the United States as 9/11. That’s when terrorists put into motion plans — which were a long time in the making — to use airplanes as weapons against the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City and another target, presumed to also be in D.C. and likely the White House, that ended instead in Shanksville, Pa.

What was an idyllic Tuesday morning in late summer, quickly became a horror unlike any most Americans had ever experienced.

Just about 60 years earlier, the United States Naval Fleet in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii was attacked by Japan on Dec. 7, 1941 – a date that President that Franklin Delano Roosevelt declared was “a date which will live in infamy.”

Ditto for Sept. 11, 2001.

What each of those dates, or more precisely the attacks on our country did those days, was steel the resolve of generations of Americans to crush any peoples who thought they could get away with such assaults upon the United States.

It was easier in the days after each of those dates that will live in infamy, to identify and vanquish our enemies. In more recent years, it’s become tougher to not only identify those who would do harm to free peoples here and around the world, but also to disarm them. As attacks abroad in Paris and London and at home in Orlando and San Bernandino have taught us is that terrorists are using simpler means to equally st as dramatic results.

Whether it’s a car on London Bridge, or guns in an Orlando nightclub, terrorists are taking to using weapons, some that they can possess legally, to maximum effect to exact carnage and heighten fear among a greater population than the relative few directly impacted.

In recent years, remembrances for the victims of the 9/11 attacks have become fewer and those that are held are smaller and less well-attended.

We praise those in Harford County who never forget and gather each year to honor the 9/11 victims. Among the most public of displays is the gathering of flag wavers on the Route 152 overpass of Interstate 95. While there are fewer of them, or at least seemingly so during this past Monday’s observance, they are no less passionate about showing their thanks and solidarity as Americans.

As the challenges to keep our homeland free grow ever more difficult and it gets harder to identify a homegrown terrorist before they can do harm, as a people we must never forget the attacks on the heart of our country.

And we must never forget that we should be ever vigilant.

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