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When Leaders Fail, It’s Up to Us to Remember 9/11

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An American flag flies near the base of the destroyed World Trade Center in New York City, September 11, 2001. (Peter Morgan/Reuters) The events of that day must be remembered, not whitewashed or sanitized for those who lack contemporary memories of them.

We swore we would never forget.

Twenty years ago this week, we watched planes fly into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. We gasped as we saw people jump to their deaths from high-rise windows in desperation. We shed tears as we saw a plane smoldering in a field in Pennsylvania.

As a nation, we swore to punish those who attacked our country — and any who harbored, aided, or abetted them.

The facts are simple: Al-Qaeda terrorists were the perpetrators of 9/11. The Taliban harbored them, and al-Qaeda pledged their allegiance to the Taliban. They fought alongside each other in training efforts against the West.

Yet President Biden defiantly announced his intent to abandon American efforts in Afghanistan, with a total withdrawal of troops by the 20th anniversary of September 11. How’s that for symbolism? America in retreat, so our enemies could take over.

Following 9/11, we had no option but to stop Islamic terrorism at its source. Despite the complaints of the “end the forever wars” crowd, our mission in Afghanistan had a distinct purpose — we fought the Taliban there so future generations would not have to face another 9/11.

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