Droning motorcycles remind us to never forget Sept. 11, 2001

The droning of motorcycles throughout much of Lycoming County Tuesday night served as our somber reminder of lives lost, valor, courage and everything that we Americans are supposed to be.

The 18th annual ride to remember the tragedy of the 2001 terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C. that killed nearly 3,000 Americans never grows old.

And it better never grow old.

It reminds us of the priority of keeping our own country safe that should never be lost and what happens when our guard is let down just for a second.

It reminds us, of course, of the lives of innocent people lost that day, some preferring to jump to their deaths rather than suffer the incinerating and suffocating end from the burning Twin Towers of New York City.

The horrific images of planes going into those towers and of the towers collapsing on people as they scurried down staircases in a frantic bid to escape, though overwhelming, should never leave us.

But there are other reminders that the ride should conjure up.

In these times when disunity seems to be the order of the day, we would do well to remember the country’s unity following those attacks and how completely the country recovered, in large part due to that unity.

In these times when patriotism is at times demeaned, we would do well to remember the heroes who intervened against hijackers of Flight 93, giving their lives so that a plane believed headed for our nation’s capital could not get there.

We would do well to consider what sort of nation we would be today had they not made the ultimate sacrifice.

Like those solitary patriots, first responders in New York City lived up to the code of their dangerous professions and went into burning buildings to save others, many of them giving their lives to do so.

We thank the organizers of the local ride and the participants for doing their part to make sure we never forget the national tragedy, eternal loss and aftermath of unity and triumph that are embodied in Sept. 11, 2001.

Never forget.