Today, on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, we pause to remember all those innocent civilians and heroic firefighters, policemen, and other responders who perished on that day that forever changed the world. They should forever be honored and never forgotten.
As the events of that day are remembered, it is natural to focus on the best of human nature; the bravery, the determination, and the selflessness of New Yorkers, of those at the Pentagon, and the passengers and crew of flight 93. Often, the finest side of our imperfection comes out when we are stressed beyond what we thought were our limits. This was one of those moments.
We must not forget, however, the shock and horror moments, the “burn or jump” decisions forced on human beings, or those incinerated or crushed as the towers burned and then collapsed. Things took place ten years ago today that we would rather not focus on. Things that we file away deep in our memory for our own protection. We probably should not take out those particular memories to look at very often but we should always remember what brought them to our shores; evil. Pure hatred-filled, evil. We should always remember that evil and, in the name of those who died, have the courage to face it, name it, and defeat it. The enemy is radical Islamic terrorism and we cannot wish it away by not speaking its name. We must not turn away.
In preparation for today’s memorials across the country, the White House issued guidelines for those holding services. The guidelines said they wished to make the point that we have not been alone in experiencing the evil of terrorism. A noble viewpoint. In part it said, “As we commemorate the citizens of over 90 countries who perished in the 9/11 attacks, we honor all victims of terrorism, in every nation around the world,” …… “We honor and celebrate the resilience of individuals, families, and communities on every continent, whether in New York or Nairobi, Bali or Belfast, Mumbai or Manila, or Lahore or London.” A list of cities hard hit by terrorism for sure. Please allow me to add a bit to the list:
May 27, 2002 – A grandmother and her infant granddaughter were killed and 37 people were injured, some seriously, when a suicide bomber detonated himself near an ice cream parlor outside a shopping mall in Petah Tikva. The Fatah Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades claimed responsibility for the attack.
June 5, 2002 – 17 people were killed and 38 injured when a car packed with a large quantity of explosives struck Egged bus No. 830 traveling from Tel-Aviv to Tiberias at the Megiddo junction near Afula. The bus, which burst into flames, was completely destroyed. The terrorist was killed in the blast. The Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack.
June 18, 2002 – 19 people were killed and 74 injured – six seriously – in a suicide bombing at the Patt junction in Egged bus no. 32A traveling from Gilo to the center of Jerusalem. The bus, which was completely destroyed, was carrying many students on their way to school. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.
Jan 5, 2003 – Twenty-two people were killed and about 120 wounded in a double suicide bombing near the old Central Bus Station in Tel-Aviv.
Aug 31, 2004 – Sixteen people were killed and 100 wounded in two suicide bombings within minutes of each other on two Beersheba city buses, on route nos. 6 and 12.
Apr 17, 2006 – Eleven people were killed and over 60 wounded in a suicide bombing during the Passover holiday near the old central bus station in Tel Aviv, at the Rosh Ha’ir shawarma restaurant, site of the Jan 19 bombing. The Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack.
Mar 6, 2008 – Eight students of the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva in Jerusalem were killed when a terrorist armed with a Kalashnikov assault rifle infiltrated the yeshiva and opened fire in the library where about 80 people were gathered, mostly teenagers. Eleven others were wounded, three critically. The terrorist, a resident of East Jerusalem, was killed by an IDF officer.
According to the White House….”we honor all victims of terrorism, in every nation around the world?” Really? What about these victims and the hundreds of others killed and maimed for decades in the one nation not mentioned? The one nation whose eradication is a stated objective for terrorists? The one nation which has arguably suffered the most at the hands of terrorism and you dare not speak their name? SHAME ON YOU.
Today, as we remember the largest single display of terrorist evil let us also remember those killed and the bravery displayed by those in Israel. Somebody has to say it.