Today is the sixteenth anniversary of a tragic day in American History. It is a day to remember those who we lost, mourn the tragedy of their passing, and draw inspiration from the courage with which they faced death.
Today, we honor the courageous passengers of flight 93 that crashed in Pennsylvania. They did what Americans do. They realized that the nation was under attack and they banded together and took up the fight. They sacrificed themselves for the people on the ground, who would have been the next victims.
Today, we honor the brave firefighters and police officers who fearlessly charged into the Towers to rescue strangers. Sacrificing themselves so that others might live.
Today, we honor the relief workers and volunteers who came from all over the United States to help in thousands of different ways in the aftermath of the attack.
Today, we honor the soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines who have since taken the fight to the enemy and have kept us safe here at home.
TODAY WE HONOR AMERICA AND AMERICANS.
The American spirit of courage and sacrifice handed down through the generations. From Valley Forge to Gettysburg, from Shiloh to Bastogne, from Pearl Harbor, to New York City, to Baghdad and onward.
Where have we come as a nation in the last sixteen years?
Have we forgotten the brutality of the attack and tragic loss of all of those innocent lives? Have we forgotten the broken families, the widows, the children left without mothers or fathers?
Have we lost the unity that we had immediately after 9-11?
Have we lived up to the legacy left to us by past generations who, when America was attacked heeded the call to arms and went to war as one nation?
In reflecting on this anniversary I believe we need to rekindle the unity and commitment we felt after 9-11. We need to follow the example of past generations and set our petty political differences aside and fight as one nation. Victory or defeat is a choice for us. History has shown that when a united America goes to war, we are unstoppable. It has also shown us that wars are lost at home through disunity.
Are we safer now because we have taken the fight to the enemy all over the world, I think so.
Think about the nearly 3000 people that Islamist extremists killed 11 years ago today.
Think about the approximately 1,346,000 men and women who have died fighting for our way of life and freedom since 1775.
The freedoms that we are now letting slip through our fingers for a few shekels doled out by our government.
The freedoms that we are now letting slip through our fingers because we want our government to take care of every aspect of our lives.
The freedoms that we are letting slip through our fingers killing the dreams and aspirations of the generations who built America.
Yes there is a time to mourn our dead, so spend a few minutes today to do so, but on this day, remember who caused their deaths and want to inflict more deaths upon us. Remember what the terrorists did and keep your resolve to go after them and bring them all to justice.
Remember the words of General Norman Schwarzkopf when asked if he thought there was room for forgiveness toward the people who have harbored and abetted the 9/11 terrorists who attacked America.
His answer simply was this:
I believe that forgiving them is God's function. Our job is simply to arrange the meeting