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Remembering 9/11, Benghazi


    by Andrew Zarowny, 9/11/2018


    Today marks the 17th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, as well as the 6th anniversary of the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya. Vice President Mike Pence will attend ceremonies at the Pentagon, while President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump will be at the ceremony in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. A new memorial was dedicated on Sunday at Shanksville, the Tower of Voices. 93 feet tall, the structure has a wind chime for each on the non-terrorist passengers and crew of United Airlines Flight 93. On 9/11/2001, the passengers of that flight had heard about what had happened in New York and Washington after their jetliner had been taken over by terrorists. The passengers revolted, fighting back, and Flight 93 crashed near Shanksville before reach its target in Washington, DC.


    Benghazi has reemerged in the news again after Barack Obama mentioned Benghazi ″conspiracy theories″ during one of his recent speeches. Obama is still trying to distance himself from the lack of response and overall b blame for what happened in Benghazi. Four Americans were killed, including an ambassador, and dozens were wounded during a night-long battle with terrorists. Months of warnings and appeals for additional security were ignored by the Obama administration, especially by then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Some military units which were ready and able to assist during the attack were ordered to stand down by Obama officials. After the attack, the Obama administration launched a disinformation campaign to lie about the causes and responses of the attack, including blaming it on some stupid You-Tube video which few people had actually seen.


    September 11, 2001 was a major turning point for America. With over 3,000 killed, it was worse than the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, bringing America into World War 2. Now, 17 years later, America is still fighting radical Islamic terrorism worldwide, including in Afghanistan, the then base for Al Qaeda, which orchestrated the 9/11 attacks. Thousands of Americans have died from this war, as well as from the lingering effects of the original attacks themselves. Many of those who were police, firefighters and construction workers who responded in New York City to the collapse of the Twin World Trade Towers have developed cancer and other deadly ailments. Some experts predict that the ultimate death toll from the 9/11 attacks might exceed over 10,000 due to such health complications.


    Then there are the psychological impacts, as well as those to our national policies. The 9/11 attacks were a wake-up call that the world was not as safe a place as we thought. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, many looked forward to a long era of peace after 40 years of the Cold War. The threat of global annihilation from a nuclear holocaust appeared to have diminished. 9/11 returned us to a position of fragility. America went on the defense again. The Department of Homeland Security was created along with a host of new laws. We now have millions of Americans forced to walk shoeless in our airports everyday. An estimated 20-30 million Americans have become ″preppers″, stockpiling food and other necessities in the event of another catastrophic event.


    We now have a new generation of youth who were not yet born on September 11, 2001. To many of them, today′s activities and ceremonies are an unknown experience. Given the state of our current education system, they are unlikely to learn nor understand the lessons of 9/11. As is often said, those who do not study history are apt to repeat its mistakes. The threat from radical, Islamic terrorism has not gone away. We just had more knife attacks in Europe, as well as more use of cars and trucks to plow into pedestrians. Always lurking around the corner is the potential for another large scale attack, possibly using aircraft or even small drones to deliver explosives, chemical, radioactive or biological payloads. Let us hope that the lesson of eternal vigilance is never forgotten as we remember what happened this day in history.


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