Today marks the 12th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001, that fateful day when thousands of people were killed on American soil by a group of terrorist thugs whose Muslim extremist organization took credit for the attack. The attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon represented a turning point in what terrorist organizations were willing to do to make their point. The killing of thousands of civilians was an act of unmasked cowardice. It was an attempt to bring the people of this great country to their knees in fear of the next attack. The terrorists acted not only with the intent of causing physical harm, but to create economic chaos in this country and others connected with us throughout the world.
The Sept. 11 attack on the people of this nation had certain long-term effects on our society. One effect was the imperative to significantly bolster security measures in many facets of our lives. These security enhancements have added in no small way to the economic burdens that have been affecting this country. However, at the same time, we now have improved and advanced security technologies that were borne from the new security industries that evolved in the wake of 9/11. The collective psyche of this nation's population was also profoundly impacted with the knowledge that our homeland is not immune from direct attacks. It was probably naïve for us to ever think that we could not be touched, but now that the 9/11 attacks took place, we are living a more realistic existence. We now know that we are not and cannot be 100 percent immune from external threats. It was an awakening that has probably benefitted us for the long term.
Now with the passage of more than a decade, it seems that our society has done more than just move on from the past. This is good to the extent that we should not have stayed mired in fear and sorrow. We moved forward and have returned this nation to a state of confidence. We refused to be intimidated and we are much more prepared for any future threats and attacks that might occur.
While we must move on from the past, we must never forget the loss of lives, the pain still being experienced by survivors and the physical damage done to the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. We paid too big of a price to let 9/11 drift into the clouds of the past. We need to keep in mind the continuing threats from terrorist organizations and the fact that they are hell-bent to do us harm. We do honor to the survivors and those killed by remembering them with compassion and gratefulness for their sacrifices.
Here in Ceres, there will be no forgetting. The suffering of the survivors and the memory of those killed will continue to reside in our hearts. We pay homage to them and share in their pain and sense of loss.
Today, the city of Ceres will conduct a small remembrance ceremony at Whitmore Park at noon. City representatives, including fire and police personnel, will gather to honor the heroes of 9/11, the persons who were killed, and the survivors who continue to suffer from the unspeakable barbaric acts committed by the terrorists. The public is invited. We shall never forget.