Fly your American flag proudly today

It's hard for anyone to forget what Islamic terrorists and members of the al-Qaida terrorist network did after hijacking four American-owned airplanes eight years ago and how they used them as flying bombs, causing a reign of terror on the United States.

Two of the aircraft, United Airlines Flight 175 and American Airlines Flight 11, targeted New York City's World Trade Center towers, and the third aircraft, American Airlines Flight 77, was used to slam into the Pentagon in Northern Virginia.

The fourth aircraft crashed in a field near Shanksville in Somerset County, Pa., never making it to its intended destination. Some believe it had a target of either the U.S. Capitol building or the White House.

Besides the 19 hijackers, 2,974 innocent people lost their lives that day, and another 24 are still deemed missing and presumed dead.

Of those killed, 246 were on the four planes, 2,603 in New York City in the towers and on the ground, and 125 at the Pentagon. All of the fatalities in the unprovoked attacks were civilians except for 55 military personnel who died in the Pentagon.

The victims who died in the attacks were not just Americans. They were from 90 different nations, of all colors, creeds and religions.

On that infamous day and in its aftermath, incredible acts of heroism from firefighters, police officers, emergency personnel and everyday citizens, many of whom sacrificed their own lives in their efforts to save others, were witnessed. In the weeks and months that followed the attack on United States, citizens of this great nation displayed their patriotism by flying the American flag. Everyone wanted to show their remembrance of what occurred on Sept. 11 and also show their pride in America.

It doesn't take a national disaster to occur in order to inspire people to display the flag. The American flag, the great symbol of our nation, can be flown year-round and can even be flown at night as long as a light shines on it.

Today, Patriot Day, we should challenge each resident of our community to take the time and effort to join the "Fly The Flag" campaign.

Each of us should show our pride in which some have, over the past few years, taken for granted.

Today, Sept. 11, take the initiative to fly an American flag. The American flag should be displayed outside every home, office and store.

Every one of us should be proud to be a citizen of this great nation and display our patriotism by flying the American flag.

Be proud that you are an American. God bless you and God bless America!