Tuesday, September 11, 2012


We all know exactly where we were, what we were doing, the things we thought, and how we felt eleven years ago today. We'll never forget the images we saw of towers and planes coming down, dust in the streets, first responders on the scene. What we heard, read, and learned in the days and months following: of the last phone calls, the missing notices, the flag raised at ground zero, people converging on New York City to search, "Let's roll" from Todd Beamer on Flight 93, a nation sharing its grief in candlelight vigils, on the radio and Internet and tv, through music, in newspapers and on street corners.

We also saw a nation showing its strength and unity; its desire to help each other, heal each other, and protect each other.

Thinking back on all of that, the feelings of loss, grief, disbelief and sadness seem as fresh today as they did then. Our hearts remain heavy for those who lost their lives, for families and friends who lost loved ones, for heroes who died or returned forever changed from desert lands in the years that followed. We still tear up seeing images of that day, hearing tributes, listening to Miami 2017 (Seen the Lights go out on Broadway) and remembering Billy Joel performing it for NYPD and FDNY.

Perseverance and resilience have always been cornerstones of this nation. They were reinvigorated with a vengeance by a terrible attack on innocent people that will forever haunt us.

In a politically polarizing time where there's finger pointing and lots of talk about what's wrong with America and how bad things are, let's remember that out of a terrible day in our history, a renewed sense of patriotism as well as a fierce appreciation for and protective feeling of the American way came about. We stood together. This is a day that renders politics useless and lays waste to party lines and rhetoric. Today is purely and simply a day to reflect, remember, and honor together as citizens.

Every year we say never forget, as if we possibly could. Those who lost someone never will, and those of us who watched our fellow citizens and our way of life come under attack never will either. As construction continues on the new World Trade Center site, we see plainly that we are built of strong stuff, individually and collectively as a people. They are a symbol that America is resilient, and she rises.

The attacks of September 11th were intended to break our spirit. 
Instead we have emerged stronger and more unified. 
We feel renewed devotion to the principles of political, economic and religious freedom, 
the rule of law and respect for human life. 
We are more determined than ever to live our lives in freedom.
 --Rudolph W. Giuliani. December 31, 2001

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