Friday, March 11, 2016

Remembering the other 9/11

"The resulting carnage was the worst terror attack in Spain's history. One of the worst in Europe's history."

It is almost ironic how memories fade. We all remember our 9/11 attacks. They are etched in our collective memories and have now become part of our national fabric. Even though some in our PC government would like to rename 9/11 "A National Day of Service", for most of us it is "Patriot's Day", and is truly a day of remembrance. 

However, a scant three years and six months after the 9/11 attacks, there was another horrific attack in Madrid, Spain. And even though it happened twelve years ago, part of this attack is still shrouded in mystery.

On the morning of March 11th, commuter trains were full of Spaniards going to work. Just like Americans were on September 11, 2001. Somewhere between 7:30am and 7:40am, a series of coordinated explosions rocked numerous trains. It is believed there were 13 IED devices planted, and 11 of them detonated.

The resulting carnage was the worst terror attack in Spain's history. One of the worst in Europe's history. By the time the body count was final, there were 191 innocent people killed and over 1,800 wounded. Shortly thereafter, the "who" became identified. But the "why" is still being questioned. The most popular theory is it was Al-Qaeda inspired, even though no direct correlation could be made to the terror group. Another theory is it was revenge for Spain getting involved in the Iraq War. Others say it was Basque Separatists. Maybe it was all of the above. In any event, a whole lot of innocent people died or were wounded on that day. 

Just like 9/11 in the United States, on March 11, 2004 another nation lost it's innocence. Nothing would ever be the same. Terror is always an unwelcome bedfellow who comes in the middle of the night and makes us forever feel vulnerable. The people of Spain did not deserve what happened to them. The 259 people on Pan Am 103 did not deserve to get blown out of the sky over Lockerbie, Scotland. And the 130 people who died in Paris last November certainly did not deserve to die in a hail of gunfire.

As part of the remembrance of these terrible events, I stop to think about this one question: Is it possible to very stop these terror attacks, or will they be with us forever? Is this part of our human nature, to kill the unsuspecting? Or like with the Islamic Terrorists, to kill Christians just because they believe in the Triune God instead of Allah? 

There are certain dates I will not forget. Our 9/11. The Benghazi attacks on a subsequent 9/11. And the Spain attacks on March 11, 2004. There are others I will also remember. We can't go back and change history, but we can learn from it. We owe that to those who died.   

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