It was a clear, bright, beautiful morning on Sept. 11, 2001. There were several men in Dwight Mickey’s barber shop. As I sat down in the barber chair, Dwight turned on the television. There was a picture of smoke pouring out of one of the twin towers of the World Trade Center. The announcer was telling us that an airplane had crashed into the tower moments ago. He was speculating about the cause of the accident.
Suddenly, another plane appeared on the screen and flew into the second tower. There was an explosion, and smoke and debris spouted out of the opposite side of the building. My immediate reaction was to say, “That was no accident!” I went home, turned on the television and during the day filled several video tapes while watching the coverage of the attacks on our country.
There were more attacks that day. A total of four commercial airliners were hijacked in the air that day in the United States. The first two crashed into the World Trade Center, causing both buildings to collapse, taking several smaller nearby buildings with them. A third airliner crashed into the Pentagon, causing much damage and many deaths.
Many of the passengers in the fourth plane discovered what was happening and they bravely reacted to the attempted takeover. Knowing the hijackers were destined for either the White House or the Capital building, some of the passengers planned and executed action against the hijackers. During the struggle, the plane crashed into a field in Pennsylvania. The plane was destroyed and all the people aboard were killed. The passengers aboard the fourth plane showed incredible courage. That was no accident.
Almost 3,000 innocent civilians were killed that day by the 15 terrorists aboard those four passenger planes. Each Sept. 11, Patriot’s Day, we remember the brave police, fire fighters and other emergency workers, both men and women, who died or were severely wounded that day. That was no accident.
All of a sudden, the world had changed. We no longer feel safe behind our two-ocean barrier between us and the rest of the world. Much of our normal life has been changed in an attempt to make us safe. No longer are we free to travel by air, as we once were. We now have elaborate security systems in place to ensure our safety in the air. Our surveillance systems are much more sophisticated, intrusive and expensive.
Investigation resulted in the identification of the hijackers. Most of them were from Saudi Arabia. Some of them had been enrolled in flight schools, learning to fly large commercial airliners. They skipped the part about how to land the planes safely. Most of them had overstayed their visas. That was no accident
We still have several prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, kept without many of the normal rights of prisoners. They are out of sight and very little is known about them. Occasionally someone suggests that they be released or repatriated. I suspect that most Americans are content to leave them where they are.
Interestingly, when we struck back, we did not strike the nation of origin of the hijackers. We chose, instead, to invade the nation where the hijackers had been trained to be terrorists, Afghanistan. We overcame the Taliban terrorists and established a more westernized government. This became the longest war the United States had ever fought. Of course, there was no declaration of War by Congress, as required by our Constitution. That was no accident.
About a year ago, President Biden chose to declare victory and leave Afghanistan precipitously. In doing so, he abandoned billions of dollars’ worth of military equipment, and unknown thousands of friends of the United States. He assured us the government we had installed would remain stable and in charge. Within weeks, the Taliban was again in control of Afghanistan. That was no accident.
The price of gas in Creston was $1.86 a gallon on Jan. 20, 2021, when President Joe Biden was inaugurated. It now sells for $3.35 a gallon. Bacon was 99 cents a pound and now is selling for $5.99 a pound. Not only baby formula is difficult to get, the supply chain is broken, many things are hard to get, and inflation runs rampant! The southern border is not secure, drug gangs are uncontrolled and human trafficking is causing thousands of illegal immigrants to suffer in unthinkable misery. Yet, our vice president claims that our border is secure. That was no accident.
Mike Lang, Chairman, Union County Republican Committee