Honor the Departed, Cherish the LivingSeptember 11, 2016
Today, the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in D.C., New York and Pennsylvania, brings back a lot of difficult memories. It was one of those days that you never forget if you were old enough to understand what was going on. I remember the horror, the terror, the confusion, the sorrow. Oddly enough, I also remember what a gorgeous day it was, clear and sparkling with sunshine … until the airplanes began to crash.
Between my ties to D.C. and New York City, I know many people who lost loved ones that horrible day. Personally, I was more fortunate. Friends who worked in the Trade Center and the Pentagon miraculously escaped, or happened to be elsewhere when the planes came down. I feel guilty to have endured so little when others suffered so much.
Still, my own life has been changed by 9/11, and I imagine most Americans would say the same. It’s harder to trust these days, and easier to indulge ugly prejudices that masquerade as reasonable caution. But I believe that the best way we can honor those who lost their lives, on 9/11 and in the ensuing war on terror, is to remain true to the principles of religious freedom and rule of law that have long been the foundation of American society.
There’s a lot of talk these days about what makes America great. Personally, I believe that our greatness has less to do with strength of arms than strength of conviction. Today is a day to honor those who died, and to offer our love and support to those who remain behind. It is also a day to renew our commitment to preserving liberty and extending fairness to everyone in this beautiful country we call home.
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