Terrorists are still targeting Americans, and America is still fighting back. Today, we the people of these United States take a moment to remember that horrible day 18 years ago when cowards hijacked four commercial airliners and used them as missiles aimed at strategic targets in New York City and Washington, D.C.

Nearly 3,000 people died as a result of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The federal government has called upon Americans to observe Patriot Day each Sept. 11 with a moment of silence beginning at 8:46 a.m. Eastern time (7:46 a.m. our time) and by displaying the U.S. flag at half-staff in honor of everyone who lost their lives.

In this community, Lufkin Middle School sixth-graders are doing world peace tributes. Central High School’s student council is doing a 9/11 memorial and honoring first responders at 1 p.m. And Ellen Trout Zoo will be offering free admission for all first responders.

Even as America responds to more isolated incidents of terrorism — mostly those perpetrated by individuals or small groups in the name of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria — we will never forget the horrific nature of the 9/11 attacks and incredible bravery and care with which the entire country responded. We hope all Texas Forest Country residents will observe that moment of silence today, whether at 8:46 a.m. Eastern — the time the first airliner hit one of the Twin Towers at New York City’s World Trade Center — or another point during the day.

If you need to jog your memory about just how fateful that day was to all Americans, we’d recommend visiting The September 11 Digital Archive online at 911digitalarchive.org and clicking on the “Browse” button. Of course, the 9/11 Memorial site, 911memorial.org, is a good resource, as well. Americans can watch today’s 9/11 commemoration ceremony live at that website beginning at 7:39 a.m. our time.

Today also has been labeled the September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance, with organizers encouraging Americans to pay tribute by participating in good deeds, whether it’s contributing to food drives, helping refurbish homes in their communities, or doing something to support and honor veterans, soldiers, military families and first responders. You can find out more about that campaign by visiting serve.gov online.

Some time has passed now since the 9/11 nightmare, even if many of us can remember that morning as if it were yesterday. We cannot, however, let a Patriot Day pass without taking time to reflect on, and teach our children about, that day and the freedom we still enjoy in spite of the terrorists’ worst efforts.