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Editorial: Has it really been 10 years?

A memorial to Avoca native Cheryle Thedans Sincock, who died in the Sept. 11, 2001, Pentagon attack, is located in a small cemetery just outside the city of Avoca. Sincock's brother, Dennis Thedans, designed and tends the memorial. The plaque states, "In memory of Cheryle Thedans Sincock, one of the many victims from the attack on America at the U.S. Pentagon, Sept. 11, 2001--- Fallen but not forgotten."

On Sunday, Worthington firefighters -- and quite likely others from communities throughout the region -- will descend upon Marshall to attend the 9/11 Memorial Park dedication. The event has been scheduled, of course, for the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

A beam from the World Trade Center will be the centerpiece of a park built to honor those who died on that infamous day. A light bulb inside the beam will illuminate red, blue and black stars set in brick that pay tribute to police officers, firefighters and civilians killed.

It is heartwarming to see a southwest Minnesota community erect such a memorial in recognition of events that took place halfway across the country. What happened exactly one decade ago this Sunday, though, wasn't just an attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon -- and perhaps either the U.S. Capitol or the White House, if it weren't for the passengers of United Airlines Flight 93. It was an attack on our entire nation, on all Americans.

In 10 years, it's easy to sit back and think about what has changed and what hasn't. People may argue that we are no safer from terrorism than we were 10 years ago. Divisions between political outlooks may be even wider than before. Our troops' subsequent deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq have been heroic in effort, yet the outlooks in each of those countries remain uncertain.

One thing that is certain, though, is that the United States-- including southwest Minnesota -- will always remember Sept. 11, 2001.