State Sen. McBroom says U.S. still vulnerable 20 years after 9/11

State Sen. Ed McBroom was a student at Northern Michigan University in Marquette when the planes hit the Twin Towers on 9/11.

MENOMINEE—Michigan State Sen. Ed McBroom (38th District) reflected on the 20th anniversary of 9/11 and what’s happened since that terrorist attack:

It is hard to believe, but the last American casualties in the Afghan conflict were young children and toddlers, who had not yet been born on Sept. 11, 2001. Their tragic loss was a sobering reminder of all our country has sacrificed in blood and treasure over the course of two decades in response to the worst terrorist attack on our homeland.

Everything changed that day. I was in Marquette—a student at Northern Michigan University—getting ready for one of my classes. I had the news on the television when I witnessed the second plane hit the second tower of the World Trade Center. Like many, I quickly concluded that this was no accident. The towers fell, classes were canceled, and the rest of the day we were all transfixed by the news coverage. There was so much fear and uncertainty in those hours as we were left to speculate whether and where the next attack would occur and about how our country would respond.

I sought refuge in reading God’s word and turning to our Heavenly Father in prayer. That night I joined others in attending a prayer vigil at a local church, where we prayed for our country and comforted one another as we mourned.

In the immediate aftermath, the goodness of Americans had shown through. The love and care that people showed to one another, regardless of race, religion, or politics was amazing. Members of Congress, who ordinarily sparred with one another, joined hands in song on the steps of the U.S. Capitol. Our foreign allies flew the American flag, and the Queen of England even had The Star-Spangled Banner played during the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace. Today, when I look at the world and see how far it has fallen, it makes me long for the days of togetherness on Sept. 12.

Twenty years on, lessons are still being learned. Our country is still vulnerable to attack and more should be done to secure our nation. Despite better communication and coordination between the branches and levels of government, we realize we cannot sacrifice our fragile liberties and freedoms for perfect security. We see that ill-conceived foreign policy objectives can lead to devastating consequences.

Sept. 11, 2001, left an indelible mark on our country and the world. As we honor and remember all who were lost that day and reflect on all that has happened since, I continue to pray for our nation, our leaders and its people. I pray for our nation to not simply turn to God when we are scared and desperate, but in every moment. Praying for real peace is praying for His will to be done. May it be done here on earth and may it be soon.