Most of us haven’t been the same since the events of this same morning 18 years ago. When terrorists sent planes into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a Pennsylvania field, killing thousands of innocent people, most of us couldn’t grasp what was happening, and that it was happening here.
What happened as a result briefly galvanized our country from coast to coast. In mourning the loss of life and the loss of security, the people of our nation put aside their differences, which were suddenly insignificant in the face of what lay before us.
In 18 years, much has transpired. The Pentagon is long repaired, Ground Zero, the site of the collapsed World Trade Center towers, has been turned into a fitting memorial for those who died there. The terror organization responsible, al-Qaida, has been largely dismantled, its leader Osama bin Laden and his brass killed or captured.
The Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks on the United States endure.
However, the world will never be the same as it was before the first jetliner collided with a WTC tower. Eighteen years later, United States military personnel remain embroiled in conflicts in Afghanistan and other hot spots. Suspicion and vigilance have forever altered the concept of privacy, both in the U.S. and abroad.
But there is hope, and a chance for change. Over the weekend, President Donald Trump tweeted an announcement that peace talks planned for Camp David with U.S., Afghan, and Taliban leaders were cancelled. Few knew it was even planned. The president pulled the plug on the meeting because a Taliban bomb killed a U.S. service member just before the summit.
This attempt to end the war with diplomacy unraveled, but it’s important that it was made. And on this anniversary, there is hope that another invitation will involve a meeting site in a neutral country, and that eventually an agreement will be struck.