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Take time to remember 9/11 and thank our troops

The attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 may have happened 11 years ago, but we are willing to bet that most if not all Americans remember exactly where they were, what they were doing, and how they felt when they first heard the news.
   Today, we should all take time to reflect on the events of that fateful day. Remember the thousands who lost their lives when the buildings crumbled. Remember the men and women who have lost their lives fighting against terrorism in an effort to ensure nothing so horrific ever happens again. Remember the friends and families of those soldiers, who have stayed home worrying and waiting for a safe return.
   At the same time, we should remember that the war against terrorism rages on. Yes, we have withdrawn most of our troops from Iraq and vanquished Saddam Hussein. Yes, Osama Bin Laden, the mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks, has been put to death, but troops remain in Afghanistan, putting their lives at risk to protect our freedoms and our safety.
   We also would like to encourage citizens of Crook County and the rest of the United States to take time beyond a set number of holidays to remember and thank those who fight for our country.
   They are there every day, facing a hostile and deadly environment, often enduring scorching hot temperatures as well as significant time away from friends and loved ones. They deserve our ongoing thoughts and appreciation year-round.
   Though the election reminds us how polarized our nation can get when it comes to its political views, there is little doubt that we all universally appreciate the men and women who protect our right to have such divergent views and act on them with our vote.
   We thank the soldiers who have fought against terrorism as well as those overseas who continue to do so. We appreciate your courage and commitment to your country, and wish you a safe return home.