Tomorrow is the ninth anniversary of 9/11. Most of us can remember where we were and what we were doing the moment we heard about the planes flying into the World Trade Center buildings and the Pentagon. Unlike normal days where we go about our business, many of us knew our lives would be changed forever. Our sense of security at home, a sense reinforced by years of geographical isolation from the world’s conflicts, was altered.
The number of deaths that day in New York was 2,819. Of that number, 343 were firefighters and paramedics, 23 were NYPD officers, and 37 were Port Authority police officers. The crash at the Pentagon killed 125 people including 55 service members. The death toll of passengers and crew members from the four planes was 246.
The quest to reduce the impact of terrorism and subsequent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan has resulted in 5,661 deaths through September 5. Hundreds of thousands of our country’s active duty, reserve, and guard service members have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, many for multiple assignments. Thousands of intelligence community members have been deployed as well.
We salute the memories of the fallen as well as salute the efforts of everyone who has been deployed in the fight against terrorism. Tomorrow morning, pause for a moment and think about the hundreds of thousands of heroes who have sacrificed life, limb, and personal safety for our security at home.