- Cullman, Alabama

September 11, 2012

11 years later

The Cullman Times

CULLMAN — Eleven years has passed since terrorists unleashed their deadly attack on the United States.

Airplanes crashing into the towers of the World Trade Center and the suicide dive into the Pentagon are etched in the minds of a generation. But we also remember the heroic battle for the fourth hijacked plane that crashed into a field in Pennsylvania.

Terror, death and vast destruction engulfed America and sent the nation into a long, costly war against terrorists and their network of hatred.

American troops have been locked in battle for more than a decade against the forces of terror. Thousands have died and many thousands more live with permanent scars from the battles and cowardly roadside bombings that have marked this battle.

While many places on the planet remain dangerous, unstable settings, the United States has become a more cautious nation. A major terror attack in the U.S. has not occurred since Sept. 11, 2001. The power of Al Qaeda has been greatly reduced as many of their leaders died along the way, including Osama Bin Laden.

The wars have been costly for the United States, both in lives and money. The price of freedom, of maintaining safe communities, has been high. Other countries — Iraq and Afghanistan — have been given the opportunity to take a new  direction. Only time will tell if the people of those lands will embrace freedom and tolerance.

Looking back to the events of 11 years ago, America rebounded from the attacks with great resolve. Despite the heartbreak of those attacks, most Americans became even more determined to stand up for the freedom that is the foundation of the country.

While some may question America’s continued involvement in the volatile country of Afghanistan, the fact stands that the United States has successfully protected its communities since the attacks of 9/11.