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Turning points
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Eight years ago yesterday, our country and our people were shocked and numbed by an incident - the second in this baby boomer age - that forever changed our dreams, our ideas and destroyed the fabric of comfort and safety we felt about being Americans.

In 1963, the sudden and swift death of the age of innocence after the assassination of John F. Kennedy brought about one of the most violent social changes in the history of our nation.

On September 11, 2001, most of us awoke to see not one but two airliners crash into the tallest buildings in New York. As we were reeling we saw another airliner filled with unsuspecting people crash into the seat of our military power - the Pentagon. We were paralyzed as we followed United Flight 93 on its way to destroy the capital itself. We cried as we heard live reports from the passengers saying good bye to their families and plotting to stop the terrorists from accomplishing their mission.
Officially 2,993 innocent people and 19 Al Qaeda terrorists died that day.

The shock waves of this attack on our homeland were immediately felt across the country. Soon, businesses as far away as California were closed because the economic drawback that occurred. Laws were enacted for our protection - laws that quite frankly violated some of the principles of our Constitution. We embarked on a war on terrorism that has cost freedoms, millions of dollars and has cost the lives of thousands of our country's finest.

In some cases, the government took advantage of our fear to overreach its bounds in the name of safety - thank goodness the will of the American people did not die that day eight years ago.

Yes, November 22, 1963, and September 11, 2001, crippled us and scared us, but like a champion boxer, the spirit and will that built this country is slowly but steadily rising again.

The lone gunman and the 19 terrorists who tried their best to destroy us have not succeeded, the politicians who would thwart the will of the people who elected them will not destroy us and the minority of people who would have you believe that capitalism in this country is dead will not destroy us. The only thing that will destroy our way of life is if we ever forget that by the grace of God and the courage of our forefathers we became the nation that we are today.