It’s been 18 years since an act of violence changed this nation forever. Nineteen men hijacked airplanes in our skies, and then terrorized a nation while claiming the lives of 2,977 others.

The death toll of those Tuesday morning attacks continues to climb as Ground Zero first responders succumb to resulting health issues and as American soldiers battle on the front lines of the War on Terror overseas.

The 9/11 attacks have taken an unspeakable toll on this nation — families mourn, we struggle to balance freedom and security, and the financial impacts are mind-boggling.

But we are here. America, dusty and bruised, stands. Our flag still flies.

Americans are divided on many issues — religion, politics, education and so on — but we are united in wanting a better, stronger America. Unity was the light in the darkness that day. A desire for unity will continue to be our Northern Star.

There have been and will be many words written, spoken and sung about 9/11. But sometimes what is needed is a moment of quiet reflection, of silent remembrance. The rest of this editorial to the bottom is intentionally blank for that purpose.

We will never forget.

Klark Byrd

The Paris News Editorial Board publishes editorials on topics of local relevance every Wednesday and Sunday.

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