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Tom Ford is a U.S. Army Vietnam War veteran and a member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4362. He lives in Scappoose.

Tom Ford of Scappoose Sept. 11, 2001 became this generation of Americans' "Day of Infamy."

Four airliners were commandeered by Muslim terrorists. Two were crashed into the Twin Towers in New York, one into the Pentagon, and one into a now hallowed field in Shanksville, Penn.

Two thousand nine-hundred and ninety-seven Americans died that day.

President George Bush addressed a Joint Session of Congress on Sept. 20 and he emphasized the need to bring the terrorists "to justice."

The United States is now 16 years chasing victory against Al Qaeda, even after the death of Osama bin Laden.

On Monday, Sept. 11, at 6:30 a.m., the Scappoose Fire Department will raise their enormous American flag from their hook and ladder truck and it will wave proudly over Highway 30. There will be a short ceremony focusing on the remembrance of the firemen and police officers who lost their lives that day in New York. That ceremony isn't designed to draw a crowd as it could impede any emergency departure by the department's firetruck. Just remember the significance of that day as you head off to work or school and see the flag flying.

Over 6,800 American military, and 6,900 contractors, have lost their lives in Afghanistan and Iraq. An unusually high number of our young veterans have lost their lives after returning home. Drug overdoses, vehicle crashes and suicide have claimed far too many. The wounded are near 50,000. Lives forever changed. National will and resolve must direct the conclusion of this seemingly endless conflict. The national issues here at home and the ongoing threats from evil and rogue nations require our attention.

As we all see the American flag this next week, especially the huge banner flying over our fire department, give some thought and a prayer, if you are so inclined, and give thanks for being an American. I'm fond of a saying I overheard several days ago, "I didn't win that big Powerball last week, but I was

born in America ... it's the same thing."

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