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We must not forget 9/11

Looking for reasons that America must always stay vigilant against terrorism? How about 2,977 reasons?

That is the number of men and women who were killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks that forever changed America and shattered our sense of security that had developed over the years.

Saturday marks nine years since the day millions of Americans sat stunned in front of their televisions, watching the twin towers of the World Trade Center crash to the ground. For most of us, those images will forever be burned into our minds and our hearts.

And they should.

The stories of heroism and bravery were countless. Emergency personnel and private citizens alike rose to the challenge, saving the lives of friends, co-workers and total strangers.

Through this adversity, the best of the American spirit shone through as strong as ever.

In the days and months that followed, patriotism swelled across the nation. More flags flew than had in many years.

On this anniversary one year short of a decade, we hope each and every citizen takes a moment to reflect on the price these 2,977 people paid. We must not forget the families who lost mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters and loved ones.

If we can capture a fraction of the patriotism — but not overstepping into the realms of fanaticism or closed-mindedness — as well as the bi-partisan cooperation that followed, the country will be headed toward its greatest future.

The legacy of 9/11 should be one of rising from the ashes to build a stronger America.