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We must never forget the attacks that changed lives of Americans

Sept. 11, 2001, should forever be engraved in the mind and soul of every U.S. citizen. It was a day that changed the fabric of our society, altering the political direction of our foreign and domestic policy, and placing antiterrorism and homeland security as Priority 1 for not only our armed forces but for us all.

The attacks on U.S. soil sparked a significant crisis never before experienced by our country, to which we are still paying the price 10 years later. The attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, was an act of war specifically targeting our military forces through traditional combat arsenal. The cowardly 9/11 attacks targeted not only our military forces housed at the Pentagon, but specifically targeted thousands of innocent civilians -- men, women and children.

Those attacks not only killed thousands of Americans, they served as the catalyst that began a definitive and systemic defamation of our economy ultimately leading our country into one of the most significant recessions in our young history. The first major blow was obviously our airline industry, which has never fully recovered. The banking, automotive and housing industries faltered soon thereafter. With the major deployment of millions of military troops coinciding with the collapse of our economic foundations, nobody should have been surprised.

Even with the aftershocks of 9/11 still being felt today, I believe our country to still be strong and resilient. We have faced numerous natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina with its devastation of New Orleans. We have faced wildfires blazing out of control, destroying thousands of homes at a ti1me. I have seen firsthand how people rally around one another during adversity.

We attempt to teach that to our children on the field of competition. We hope and pray that our children will never have to face similar real-life tragedies. We do all that we can to protect them and nurture them. But we would be doing them an injustice if we merely insulate them from challenges and difficulty.

I believe that it is important for all of us to know and understand the past and to learn from our history. I want our children to know about the events of Sept. 11, 2001, rather than to be shielded from them. Americans died senselessly that day.

We must not forget the events of 9/11 and its aftermath. We must remember and honor those who were lost. But we must also remember that we are all still paying the price of that day.

We will survive as a nation. Our people are strong, resilient and determined, and many are people of faith. Our country rallied together as one during the days following 9/11. U.S. flags were proudly flown. Neighbors prayed openly with one another. Young men and young women stood in line to volunteer to serve their country and proudly wear her uniform. Sept. 11, 2001, was a calculated and deliberate attempt to tear this country apart. I am proud to say that it was unsuccessful, as long as we never forget.

Jim LeBrun, superintendent

McDuffie County Schools

Web posted on Thursday, September 15, 2011

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