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Heroes to remember

September 11, 2004

Just as people of a certain generation will never forget where they were when they heard that President John F. Kennedy had been shot, the memories of Sept. 11, 2001 will endure for those who heard the news reports of the terrorist attacks.

For the staff of The Herald-Mail, the day began with a report that one of the World Trade Center towers was on fire. Staffers turned on a TV set in the newsroom and were soon horrified to see the second tower hit by an airliner being used as a terrorist weapon.

Many things have changed as a result of that attack. The nation has gone to war against two nations, created a new cabinet-level department and a host of restrictions have been placed on citizens' personal behavior.

On this day, our desire is that citizens not dwell on the desire for revenge, though justice cannot come soon enough for those involved and their handlers.

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On this day we would rather concentrate on the brave men and women who responded after the attacks and in the case of Flight 93's planeload of passengers, probably prevented the death toll from being worse than it was.

We remember the fire/rescue personnel who responded, some at the cost of their lives. We remember the crews who spent months digging through the rubble to recover any remains that were there.

We remember the people who volunteered to feed and counsel those crews and provide them with needed supplies. We remember the citizens who contributed to the relief efforts.

We wish the events of Sept. 11, 2001 had never happened, but because they did, we have proof again that Americans are, for the most part, a giving, self-sacrificing people.

Hate the terrorists if you must, and fear them as well. But don't forget those Americans, some of whom are no longer with us, who sacrificed so much on that terrible day.

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