On the morning of September 11, 2001, my wife called me into our living room.  One of the Twin Towers in New York had been hit by an airplane.  At that moment, no one knew exactly what was happening.  Speculation was rampant.  Then, as we and millions of others watched, a second plane struck the other tower.  This erased any doubt.  America was under attack.  I rushed to the radio station and began what would become one of the most difficult days of my career.  We had to cover the news of this horrific day and try to absorb reality at the same time: America as we’d known her was changing before our very eyes.  Little did we know where we would be thirteen years later.

Today, and for every 9/11 from now till Judgment Day I suspect, we will remember, reflect and relive the horrors of that day, the lives lost, the heroes made and the lives changed.  We will remember the evil men who took control of the planes-15 from Saudi Arabia, two from the United Arab Emirates, one from Egypt and one from Lebanon-all forever branded as murderers by us, martyrs by their supporters.

I could go on for quite some time about what I think has been done right and what has been done wrong in the years since 9/11/01.  The latter would be a much longer list than the former.  Now, we are not only faced with the evil Al Qaeda, but also, ISIL (The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant).  And last night, we listened as President Obama stated that ‘ISIL is not Islamic’.  Really, Mr. President?  I don’t think they got that memo. Reports are circulating that ISIL or ISIS as it's also referred to is openly operating just across the border from El Paso.

On Thursday mornings' ‘Rise and Shine Show’ I posed the question about the current teen generation, most of them not old enough to even remember the events of that day: What exactly is their understanding of what happened?  Do they even know who our enemies really are?  After all, this administration has sent some very mixed signals about who’s who in their playbook.  And the Patriot Act, the post-9/11 answer to the attacks brought about during the Bush years may be as much of a threat to American citizens as anyone else.

We have a lot to think about, to reflect upon and even more in front of us that must be watched.  Too many of us are so caught up in our video games, reality shows and $6 a cup coffee to even really know and understand what is happening to our republic, to our liberties and to our world.  The threats are even more numerous than on 9/11.  Perhaps we’d better spend more time looking in front of us than behind.  Its fine to remember and to honor, but please, do not fall back to sleep.  Do not be lulled into a false notion that the fight  cannot come to us.  It already has.  It’s never really gone away.  It’s just waiting for another opportunity. The level of violence that grips Iraq and Syria at this very moment may be closer to home than you think.

The Wichita Falls Police Department has put together a tribute video honoring the fallen of 9/11.  Watch and remember those who fell on 9/11.



More From Newstalk 1290