That long day
On a clear Tuesday morning 19 years ago, a group of militant Islamic terrorists executed an intricate plan to attack the United States by hijacking passenger airliners and crashing them into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the U.S. Capitol.
Three of the hijacked aircraft hit their targets at the World Trade Center towers and at the Pentagon.
The fourth, United Flight 73, bound for the Capitol, crashed in a Pennsylvania field after passengers attempted to overpower the hijackers.
The terrorists killed 2,977 people, injured untold others and left legions of responders and family members with emotional scars that aren’t likely to heal.
It also united our nation against a common, albeit ill-defined enemy.
Almost two decades later, with the threat of extremist radicalism largely neutralized, Americans have identified another enemy — each other.
Political division and rancor have reached fever pitch, and have even tinged attitudes toward a continuing viral pandemic that has killed more than 60 times the number of Americans than the 9/11 terrorists, and will likely kill untold numbers more.