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A Pause in Remembrance of September 11th

American Flag
Chris Myers

Nine years ago, the world we all knew changed when America was viciously attacked on our home soil. September 11, 2001 was one of the most horrific events our generation would ever witness. On that crisp morning, there was no hint of the tragedy just looming on the horizon or that by day’s end, nearly 3,000 of our fellow Americans would perish.

This day was a tragic reminder that everything we have worked for can be lost in an instant. It remains one of the most influential days of our lives, the day we were mercilessly attacked by terrorists who resent our freedom, prosperity and lifestyle. As thousands of innocent men, women and children jumped from the highest floors to escape the flames or were crushed in the falling buildings, the perpetrators were celebrated as heroes by other extremists back home, their carnage met with cheers and desecration of our American flag.

But although our enemies attempted to destroy our spirit by attacking the symbol of our nation’s prosperity, they underestimated the resilience of the American people. In the wake of the tragedy, millions of Americans stood up to help in any way they could by donating blood to the Red Cross and helping friends and neighbors cope with loss. The Stars and Stripes once again lined our streets, and we no longer took our loved ones for granted.

We also learned that, for many nations around the world who believe in peace and civility, an attack on one is an attack on all. The world stood resolute and unified against terror. “The Star Spangled Banner” played at London’s Buckingham Palace and in the streets of Paris. Moments of silence and candlelit vigils were observed in South Korea and Australia. We realized that even in our darkest hour, we certainly were not alone in our grieving.

As a nation, we lost our innocence but gained a very real awareness of threats both domestic and abroad. Although the memory of that September morning will never fade, let’s always remember what we learned from this tragedy—that we must do all we can to protect our freedom, security and our loved ones.

On the ninth anniversary of the September 11th attacks, I encourage you to pause to thank our service members who currently serve around the world, as well as the veterans who have served our nation in the past. We must also thank the firefighters and police officers who risk their lives every day in our communities; these brave individuals deserve special recognition for the dangers they face on a daily basis.

I thank God every day that I live in a nation that values hope, liberty and endless possibility. As Americans, no matter how many times our adversaries try to make us fall, we will pick ourselves up and continue toward a brighter tomorrow.