Sunday is the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks from the skies over New York City, the Pentagon in Northern Virginia and rural southwestern Pennsylvania.
A decade and a half later, we still feel the pain of our Harford County citizens and thousands around the world who have lost loved ones, friends and colleagues, not only on that most horrible of days, but also in the months and years before and since, all of them lost to thuggish acts of cowardice committed in the name of an oppressive ideology of hate, masquerading as belief in phony promises from their deity.
As we have noted in many past editorials, we brook no quarter when it comes to acts of terrorism. There is no justification, then and now, for killing people in the name of god. The terrorist dupes, and those who support them, aren't trying to make anyone's life better. They are the enemy. Their leaders are no better than any common thief or murderer.
As the presidential campaign revs into high gear over the next eight weeks, much will be said and written about the United States and the war on terror that seemingly knows no ending. The candidates and their surrogates will claim to have workable plans to end terrorism, while at the same time taking potshots at the last two presidential administrations for their failures to do so. Don't believe any of the balderdash and its accompanying finger-pointing. This is a war that won't be won until the last terrorist is eradicated and none dare follow.
Our country is strong, vibrant and free, and that's what goads a relatively small minority of people to want to tear it down and kill our citizens. As you reflect on the events of Sept. 11, 2001 this weekend, never forget that our freedoms to think, act and worship as we wish are well worth protecting from a handful of zealots who, much as they may try, haven't succeeded in their goal of destroying our way of life.
As long as we remain strong in our beliefs, and clear in our minds of what is right and what is wrong, the hate-mongering terrorists never will succeed.