Resolve to remember September 11th

Editor's Note: September 11, 2001 was the deadliest day in U.S. law enforcement history — 72 police officers lost their lives that terrible day. The sadness and the anger remain raw. To mark this solemn anniversary we present a series of outstanding columns on law enforcement’s role in the continuing fight against terrorism. Below, Lt. Dan Marcou says that when the resolve of some wanes and even disappears, American Law Enforcement must reaffirm its resolve to protect and serve... the homeland.

In 1941, the architect of the unprovoked attack on Pearl Harbor, Admiral Yamamoto is said to have written in a letter, “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.”

On September 11, 2001 the United States of America suffered another unprovoked attack — one that inflicted more casualties than we had suffered on that “day of infamy.”

That same terrible resolve described accurately by Yamamoto had already been witnessed by every American transfixed to their television screens as the fire fighters and police officers rushed to the deadly scene, and gave their lives trying to save others.

That terrible resolve was witnessed by the hijackers of flight 93 who failed to reach the Capitol because of the citizen heroes whose courage and determination will be remembered along with those who fought and died at Lexington, at The Alamo, at Gettysburg, and on Omaha Beach.

The resolve was seen when Congressmen sang “God Bless America” on the steps of Congress. Allies all over the world sent their condolences and resolved to join in the “War on Terror,” against the radical jihadists.

This resolve in the visage of American and Allied Soldiers, Sailors, Air Force, and Marines toppled an incredibly repressive government that harbored terrorists and stoned women in soccer stadiums. It brought a tyrant to his final justice, and allowed free elections in two countries that rarely found the opportunity to describe anything as free.

Now on the eighth anniversary of September 11th the resolve recedes like a tide on a warm sandy beach. Terms like “radical jihadist,” and “War on Terror,” are eliminated from official communications as if eliminating the words will eliminate the threat.

For proof that the threat has not been eliminated a person need only look to one recent event. Abdel Baset Al-Megrahi was convicted of bringing down Pan Am Flight 103, killing 243 passengers, 16 crew members and eleven people on the ground. Al Megrahi’s bomb blew a hole in the plane over Lockerbie Scotland, and the wreckage fell in pieces from 31,000 feet, carrying innocents to their deaths.

Al-Megrahi was serving time for this horrendous act of terrorist-murder and justice was about to be served. Al Megrahi contracted a terminal cancer and he would die in prison. Al-Megrahi’s attorney’s then asked for and received something that Al-Megrahi and his ilk are incapable of…“mercy.”

The murderer was released from prison and flown home to Libya.

The world watched, oddly surprised, that thousands surrounded this merciless killer in jubilant adoration, reminiscent of the dancing in the streets in the Mideast after the twin towers came down. It is a fact that Al-Megrahi’s murderous tactics are embraced openly around the world by millions and secretly by some in this country. Al-Megrahi, a murderer of innocents, is a hero to many. Sadly, people strive to emulate their heroes. The war on terror is not over until the radical jihadists say it’s over, or until they lose their resolve.

There has not been another attack since September 11th and that has been no accident. It has come from the directed efforts of the military, intelligence, as well as federal and local law enforcement. Whether you are a member of FBI, the CIA, NYPD’s Special Services Unit, a border patrol agent or a beat cop on patrol you may find yourself with an opportunity to thwart a deadly attack on the people you are sworn to protect.

On this anniversary of the death of our fellow Americans, when the resolve of some wanes and even disappears, American Law Enforcement must reaffirm that resolve to protect and serve...the homeland. Now, if you are so inclined, say a silent prayer in memory of those who wore their uniform with pride and in that uniform they died on September 11th. Remember their sacrifice. Say a silent prayer for the heroes of flight 93, who recognized the evil at our doorstep and fought back with terrible resolve and foiled the planned attack on the Capitol, one of the very symbols of our freedoms.

Renew that resolve within yourself that it will not happen again here.  Not on this watch, not on this beat, not on our lives.

Now, let’s roll.

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