Editor's note: The Independent ran the following editorial, its first after the 9/11 attacks, on Sept. 20, 2001.

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The images, the death, the destruction, the evil are almost too horrific to comprehend.

Landmark skyscrapers that once graced the New York City horizon toppled and demolished by an unthinkable terrorist act. The nation's military headquarters attacked in similar fashion.

But through it all, America's people stand proud, and here in Huntington Beach it's no different.

Our patriotism stirred like never before, we are flying flags, donating blood, money and time, and promising that no matter how many shameful acts of cowardice, we will never crumble.

We've seen a lot of horrible images in our collective lifetimes here in Huntington Beach:

World wars; nuclear bombs; assassination of our president and other national and world leaders; cities ablaze from rioting; one of our own countrymen demolishing an Oklahoma City building filled with hundreds of people, including innocent children; high school kids turning guns and ammunition on their classmates; and closer to home the years of riots during the city's Fourth of July celebrations from 1994 to 1996.

Through it all, though, we go on. And we'll go on again now.

Yes, there have been closures of airports and cancellations of major events such as college and prep football to honor those who have died.

We applaud those who made those decisions, as tough as they were. In this time of mourning, it was the right thing to do.

But the message shouldn't be that we are backing down in the face of terrorism. We are merely showing our respect, something those who committed these horrendous acts cannot comprehend.

Here in Huntington Beach, rising to the occasion is nothing new. When there's a need in the community, our residents are legendary for their compassion and generosity.

It's no different now. Our community is lining up to give even more, to be even stronger.

While the true pain and agony is 3,000 miles across the nation, we stand tall in solidarity with our brothers and sisters.

And we know, like our fellow countrymen and women do as well, that we will never be toppled.