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Our World has Changed

Written by Dennis Sun

Well, here we are at the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City, a terrorist attack that in some ways changed our lives even far away in Wyoming. Some say it was act comparable to the attack on Pearl Harbor that brought America into war with Japan.  

In years past, the older generation remembers where they were when they heard about Pearl Harbor and for most it had to be over the radio, a somewhat younger generation still remembers where they heard about the assassination of John F. Kennedy and we all remember where we were the morning of the 9/11 attacks. An attack that left us all dumbfounded that someone would fly an airplane into a building, but it happened three times that morning.

I happened to be in Albuquerque that morning for a Western Area Conference of the National Association of Conservation Districts. Attending a breakfast meeting, we missed the first plane and after hearing about it, we headed back to my room and turned on the TV just in time to witness the second plane hit the other tower. First we wondered what kind of a movie this was but quickly realized we had watched a true tragedy. You just couldn’t imagine anyone doing this terrific act, but within the hour we all realized our lives were changed more than just jumping through hoops to travel by air. Luckily I was able to catch a ride back to Wyoming, we all were confused but felt safe with others from Wyoming and we were sure glad to cross the Wyoming border. A couple of us spent the night in Cheyenne. What do you know, when we arrived, there was a Wyoming Peace Officers convention going on at the hotel, with more guns out and about than you could count. A great place to spend the night.  

While we did go after the terrorists and the countries that harbored them, we never did officially declare war on them. We did finally say we were at war and now it has been 10 years since that tragic day, with a large number of brave Americans giving up their lives for our freedom. The current conflict has wore us down, and so our government is setting a time line to get out of the countries we have spent billions of dollars fighting in. Only time will tell if we made the right decisions and took the right actions. Did we do enough or should we have declared war right off? We were not so much against a country as we were certain people in the country or those ruling it. Regardless, we have spent our way into terrible financial condition, now we’re all victims. But, we shouldn’t ever forget those who lost their lives and their families or those with lasting injuries and the same with those and their families with losses from the 9/11 attacks.

We haven’t had any major terrorist attacks since 9/11, but those who hate the U.S. and its people are still out there planning. Most are poor people who know no other life other than fighting a war and believe they have a god behind them. Our world has changed.

Dennis