We are once again crossing the anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, known now generally as 9/11. It will be a somber day for many as we recall the horror and bravery exhibited that day. We should always remember the events of that day.
Almost 3,000 people died that day from nations all over the world. The largest number died at the World Trade Center buildings in New York, but the losses at the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania where Flight 93 crashed are no less important. Over 400 firefighters and law enforcement personnel died as well. It was a horrendous day.
Because of the attacks, we fought two wars. Iraq resulted in 4,476 dead and almost 31,935 wounded. The numbers continue to climb in Afghanistan, of course, but the last count I saw showed 2,265 dead and 19,261 wounded. The deaths are horrific tragedies for the individuals and their families. The wounded are also tragedies. Caring properly for the wounded is a moral obligation that we do not yet fully understand. The number of amputations, traumatic brain injuries, and post-traumatic stress disorder cases will severely strain the veterans, their families, and the Department of Veteran Affairs for years to come.
Since President Obama took office, there have been five instances where a terrorist reached his target in the United States. These include a murdered recruit in Arkansas, NidalHasan’s alleged workplace violence, the Times Square bomber, the Boston Marathon, and the underwear bomber. We are now seeing the 1-year anniversary of the death of four Americans in Benghazi in a terrorist attack that the administration initially portrayed as something else. Thankfully, casualties have not approached that of 9/11, nonetheless we should recognize that our enemies live on and remain a threat.
Our enemies continue to threaten us. Reducing forces in Afghanistan does not mean that the war against Islamic extremism is over. The fanatics are still out there and want us dead. Our only hope to remain safe is to ensure that our intelligence, military, and law enforcement force are the best in the world.