Sixteen years later, a Muslim terrorist has struck again, near Ground Zero, reminding us this long war with radicals is far from over.
A 29-year-old immigrant from Uzbekistan in a rental pickup truck killed eight innocent people and injured at least 11, before smashing into a school bus with two children and two grown-ups.
The man, identified as Sayfullo Saipov, then got out, brandishing a pellet gun and a paintball gun, yelling “Allahu Akbar,” before he was shot by a cop and taken into custody.
Noting all the hallmarks of an Islamic State-inspired attack, House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Rep. Mike McCaul told Fox News, “This is the ninth vehicle assault used by ISIS.”
The sobering fact is that car and truck attacks can happen anywhere.
And despite the stark reality that terrorism is at an all-time high here in the U.S., UK and beyond, we must not allow these murderous individuals to alter our way of life.
That’s what “never forget” means. That is what “We will not be cowed” means. Those words are as important today as they were on Sept. 11, 2001, when Americans came together and stood tall during one of our nation’s darkest hours.
When al-Qaeda terrorists flew hijacked planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, we stood defiantly and came out of it stronger than ever. We rebuilt. We rallied. And continued on with our lives.
When two Muslim terrorists set off pressure cooker bombs at the Boston Marathon, we were “Boston Strong.”
That has to happen now. The enemy is the same and remains determined. So must we. In this long war, that has not changed.
In the aftermath of yesterday’s terror attack, it was important NYC authorities didn’t cancel their Halloween parade, nor do they have any plans to cancel their marathon this Sunday. Because one thing is certain. If we cower in fear and allow extremists to curtail our freedom, they win.
That is as true today as it was 16 years ago.
And we can’t let that happen.