First, a bit of history: Way back on September 11, 2001, 19 men commandeered four commercial airliners and turned them into guided missiles, crashing two of them into the twin towers of New York City's World Trade Center and the third into the Pentagon. The fourth was prevented from reaching its presumed target in Washington, D.C., when the passengers attempted to wrest control of the plane from the hijackers. That aircraft crashed into a field in Pennsylvania, killing all aboard but no one else. A total of 2,977 innocent lives were taken that day, more than were killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

Come, come, Dunphy, you say. Everyone remembers the 9/11 attacks. Why the exercise in remedial history?

Because it's sadly but plainly apparent that not everyone does remember the 9/11 attacks, as evidenced by the fact that so many people seem queasy about taking the steps necessary to prevent another attack from occurring.

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