On its 16th anniversary, let us pause and take a moment to remember 9/11.
Even after 16 years, the tragic events of September 11, 2001, are still seared in our nation’s collective memory. 9/11 shook America to its core.
Who could forget the pain, the suffering and the horror of what became the deadliest terrorist attack on U.S. soil? It's impossible to forget where you were when you heard the news of the unfolding terrorist attacks that September morning. I know that I can’t. I was in our Virginia office preparing for a trip to Washington, D.C., that morning. Like millions of Americans that day, I stared at live television coverage in total disbelief.
That day we learned a lot about America – we learned that America is resilient. We saw first-hand the evil that exists in our world - the pure hate for the United States and Americans. We also learned that our nation is stronger than evil.
As I have stated in the past, it's important to remember and honor the thousands of Americans who perished at the hands of evil on September 11th. It's also important to remember and honor those who gave their lives for others – the passengers who battled the terrorists and brought down the plane in a Pennsylvania field before it could reach Washington, the brave men and women who gave their lives at the Pentagon, and those who perished at Ground Zero in New York City.
America is a nation of hope and stronger because of 9/11. On this anniversary, we understand more than ever that freedom comes with a price. And, like the steel Cross that rose out of the ashes of the destruction at Ground Zero, the spirit of the American people continues to rise to new heights – no longer victimized by the fear, intimidation, and hate exhibited by the terrorists.
America today continues to face grave challenges. At home and abroad.
Sixteen years later, we know that there are those who remain dedicated to destroying our freedoms and our way of life. That is why it is so important to remain vigilant and prepared for the unexpected. We must rededicate our commitment to defeating radical Islamic jihad because the terrorists are still at war with us.
We continue to pray for those who lost family and loved ones that fateful day. We pray for our nation – our safety – our security. We pray for our men and women who are currently serving our country by defending our freedoms around the world.
Yes, there is still pain and suffering from that day sixteen years ago, but we’re grateful for the healing and hope that’s occurred in the years since 9/11, too.
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