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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Don't Worry ... We'll Never Forget

Today is the 13th anniversary of the terrorist attacks against America, carried out by Islamist extremists. I'm sure there will be countless services and memorials across the country, but I don't need to attend any of those or watch them on television to remember what happened that day.

Everyone remembers what happened that day. Ask anyone, and they will be able to tell you exactly where they were and what they were doing when they received word of the attacks.

Around the time of the attacks, the kids and I were addicted to a show called "Third Watch", which was just entering it's third season. We loved that show and looked forward to it each week. For those of you who have never heard of that show, it was about New York City police, fire, and paramedics.

Watching that show taught my kids how dangerous it is to be a first responder ... and when those buildings fell, they thought of all of the firemen and policemen who didn't make it out.

Third Watch aired three episodes in October of 2001 relating to 9/11. The first was called "In Their Own Words", and featured cast members introducing the real heroes of that day. It was more of a documentary than a television drama, and the stories they told were true. Those who played firemen on the show introduced firemen who were there, and the same for the policemen and paramedics, It was taped soon after the tragedy, and the emotions were raw.

The second episode, "September 10th" aired the week after "In Their Own Words". In this episode, everyone was back in character, going about their day on September 10th. The episode ended on the morning of September 11th.

The third episode of that season was called "After Time", which showed the cast dealing with the aftermath of the attacks, including going to Ground Zero and digging through the rubble after their shifts. The three episodes were handled delicately and realistically. I loved that show ... the first four seasons anyway. Seasons five and six weren't that good, but the first four seasons were excellent, and they were the most realistic of any fire/cop/paramedic show I've seen.

Every year around this time, the television is full of programs about 9/11. Everyone tries to tell the story from a different angle or with a new twist ... but there is no new angle or twist that hasn't been done. I watch many of the shows, but it's been many, many years since any of them included a tidbit of information I didn't already know.

But I don't need a television show or documentary to remind me of 9/11 ... I'm reminded every time I see a flag flying or every time I see a soldier in uniform. I'm reminded every morning when I wake up free and every evening when I go to bed safe and unafraid. I'm reminded every single minute of every single day that there are lunatics out there, hell-bent on our destruction ... but I also know their mission is doomed. America took a blow that day, but it was far from fatal ... all they did was wake a sleeping giant. They did not, nor will they ever, break the spirit of the American people.

We are still here. We are still strong. We are still courageous and willing to fight for those who cannot fight for themselves ... and we are still free.

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