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Sept. 11 a reminder to be prepared for tragedy
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The terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers and Pentagon on September 11, 2001, appear to have dwindled to a low level of consciousness for most people of our country who were not directly affected by it. Time, of course, helps us accept what has happened and to move forward. After all, it is within our very nature to keep living and to stay

productive - it is all part of the survival instinct. It is not productive, of course, to dwell on such tragedies, and with all of this nation's economic and social problems of the past several years, it is no wonder that our collective attention is focused primarily on the present.

But with almost 3,000 deaths occurring at the hands of a small group of murderous ter

rorists, and the fact that this attack occurred on United States soil, 9/11 must never be forgotten. We owe homage and respect to those who died, to those who worked to save lives and to the families and friends who lost loved ones.

September 11, 2001, showed us all the vulnerability this nation had to outside attacks. It demonstrated that we, as citizens, had developed a sense of complacency and false security. The attacks blindsided us and shook all of us to our very cores. It was a lesson hard learned that led to wholesale revamping of our homeland security plan and overall emergency preparedness.

September 11th also brought out the best in us as a society. We saw innumerable acts of heroism, self-sacrifice, and daring rescues. There were acts of selflessness and charity, and world class leadership was demonstrated by civilians, emergency workers and even some of the elected officials. As quickly as the attacks occurred, our nation pulled together and worked to mitigate the aftermath, sift through the debris, and eventually begin the healing process.

We must never forget those we lost, but we have to learn from the past, heal, and work towards the future. We, as a country, must never become complacent again or take for granted the peace that we enjoy in America. September 11th was a rude awakening for our country and the government, at the national, state, and city level has done a lot in the following years to be better prepared for disasters, whether they are natural or acts of terrorism.

Citizens need to work together with their families and neighbors to be prepared for emergencies. It is important that all families have an emergency kit, a plan, and that everyone is educated on what to do in an emergency situation. There are many resources on the internet, such as where you can obtain checklists, sample plans, etc. It is crucial that you talk to your family members, especially your children, about what to do in an emergency situation, where to go if you become separated, and ensure that they are equipped with the information necessary to deal with future emergencies.