September 11, 2001: We Will Never Forget
On September 11, 2001, all of our lives changed forever. Regardless of where we were or what we were doing, not a single one of us who lived through that day will ever forget the shock we felt as we learned that our nation was under attack. Twenty years later, the sights and sounds from that terrible day still haunt us and they will always be a part of us. While the sorrow will never go away, our unbreakable American spirit shines on.
The 9/11 terrorist attacks were designed to leave us in ruin. They took so much from us, but they also brought out the best in us. That day, every American had a common purpose: to help one another. From the first responders navigating the perils at Ground Zero to the average citizen who looked to assist in any way that they could, we stared the dangers down and reminded the world what it means to be an American.
Being an American is not always easy. This honor comes with a responsibility to the world. On days like today, we are reminded that this responsibility can make us a target. While there are those who aim to threaten us for living the way that we do, life would not be worth living if we failed to stand up for what mattered most.
We will always cherish the 2,977 people who lost their lives in New York, at the Pentagon, and aboard United States Airline Flight 93 on that fateful day in 2001. Among those who made the supreme sacrifice on 9/11 were 343 New York City firefighters, 23 New York City police officers, and 37 Port Authority officers. In the years since, many more first responders have passed away due to illnesses related to their service on Sept. 11 or from their work in the immediate aftermath. We owe more than we can ever repay to those faithful guardians and we must never break faith with their memory. It is up to all of us to always carry on their fight and be the best version of ourselves to the world.
Just like how those of an earlier generation rallied to our nation’s defense after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, Americans of our own time answered their generation’s call by stepping forward to fight after 9/11. Today, we must also pay tribute to those brave warriors and honor those who gave the last full measure of devotion in the War on Terror. The global struggle against terrorism is far from over and we must continue to do whatever it takes to support our warfighters on the frontlines who tirelessly work to ensure that we never have to live through a tragedy like 9/11 ever again.
To quote retired Navy SEAL and veteran of the War on Terror, Jack Carr, “Today, more than any other for the generation that lived it, is a day to remember why we fight, what we stand for, and how, no matter what, as Americans, we always get back up and keep moving forward.” More fitting words to mark this unforgettable day in American history cannot be found.
We will never forget. Our spirit will never be broken. We are Americans.