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Tribute to those lost

It was on this date, 18 years ago, that the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks occurred, which resulted in the deaths of 2,996 people in New York City, Washington, D.C. and Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

On the first anniversary of the attacks, Congress passed and President George W. Bush signed into law legislation designating Sept. 11 as Patriot Day, in which Americans are asked to take part in of prayer and remembrance of those lost that date.

We pay tribute to the victims of the attacks — from those working in the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, to the passengers on the four hijacked planes, to the first responders who rushed into the buildings, regardless of the danger that awaited them.

We also hope that everyone will remember the human costs of the following years.

Within a month of the attack, the U.S. entered the war in Afghanistan, which continues to this date. More than 2,400 American service members have made the ultimate sacrifice in that conflict.

And as recovery operations began at Ground Zero in New York, first responders worked tirelessly on the scene, searching for survivors and helping with recovery efforts. Many have faced severe and fatal illnesses in the ensuing years, as a result of exposure to the harsh environmental conditions at the site.

We should strive our utmost to live up the sacrifice of those lost on Sept. 11 and beyond, and honor them by always striving to make our nation be the best it can be.