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Years roll by but terrorist attacks remain fresh in memories

It’s difficult to find anybody in the United States who wasn’t impacted by that dark day in September 2001, 19 years ago today, when terrorists unleashed wanton attacks on our country.

Not since another dark day in U.S. history — this one in December 1941 when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor — has America felt so vulnerable and violated.

The immediate impact of 9-11 was the death of nearly 3,000 innocent Americans at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and in a field in Pennsylvania. Those victims and their families felt the full brunt of the attacks and the survivors will carry it with them for the rest of their lives.

The rest of the country’s residents also felt the horror and sadness that gripped the U.S., as did the residents of most other countries in the world.

For many, the attacks were played out on television, as news coverage of the first jet slamming into the Trade Center was interrupted by live footage of a second jet piercing the other tower.

At that moment, life as we knew it in America changed forever.

The country was reeling and residents from all corners of America were living in a dull, seemingly unexplainable daze that lingered for far too long.

However, as in the case of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor during World War II, Americans pulled together and slowly began rebuilding the American dream of freedom, happiness and the opportunity of working for a better life for ourselves and our loved ones.

The return to normalcy has been a long and costly one, particularly for those military families who have sent loved ones into tumultuous corners of the world in an attempt to root out evil.

But it is a journey we must — and will — continue to embrace.

That journey will present many more challenges, as well, but in the effort to make our country safe and secure, we will also free the world of many bad elements that have been running out of control.

Indeed, we have seen in several countries where long-standing dictatorships have been run out of power by their own citizens.

The terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, may have landed a horrible and lasting impact on America, but it also made us and most other people in the world, realize that terrorism entered the 21st century with a fury and we have to be unrelenting in our battle against it.

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