Our world changed forever on Tuesday, September 11, 2001.
Hijackers flew American Airlines flight 11 into the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City at 8:46 a.m.
Foreign supported, funded and trained terrorists dealt the worst sneak attack since Pearl Harbor. They had hijacked four jet planes and took them on suicide missions to blow up the World Trade Towers, the Pentagon and the White House too.
Thousands of innocent men and women as well as firefighters, police and other First Responders died that day.
The nation went to bed that first night – at war – with an unseen, unknown enemy.
We sent our armed forces to hunt down those responsible in Iraq and Afghanistan.
A decade later we are still at war with terrorists – foreign and home grown – who want to strike at our Democracy. We have dodged many bullets over the years. Queens has appeared in the headlines of many terrorist-related stories.
Terrorists from Queens were stopped in their plot to attack city synagogues with guns and grenades.
An Al-Qaeda trained cell of five bomb makers working out of an Islamic Center in Queens was tracked, watched and arrested by FBI agents in Flushing and Denver, Colorado.
Feds arrested a group trying to rent the biggest truck at a U-Haul rental place in Queens.
Terrorists did not overlook our airports and plotted to blow up the Buckeye Pipeline that brings jet fuel underground though portions of Queens to airport holding tanks. Feds thwarted a plot the blow up the tanks at John F. Kennedy Airport.
One plot to blow up a car bomb in Times Square was derailed by a Queens man who was selling his wares in the area and noticed the abandoned truck. He reported it to the cops, who defused the situation and arrested a Connecticut man.
Over years we have learned to be patient in lines at the airports. We have learned to watch and report the odd, the abandoned package, the out of place car or truck.
We must remember those who died; those who cleaned up the site and those who are rebuilding Ground Zero. We must take care of those who have become sick after working at the site too.
We are a cautious, vigilant nation – and we are still at war.