It seems like it was just yesterday, and often when I see images or sounds of 9/11 all the feelings come back and I get a lump in my throat. All of those people, right here in the heart of America.
I don’t personally know anyone who died on 9/11, but they were our friends and neighbors. Struck down at random, the only “reason” they died because they were Americans.
Even though we have avenged them in a very concrete way – killing Bin Laden and disrupting the Al Qaeda network – they are all gone forever. Their families never saw them come home the way they left, smiling faces and love in their hearts. No military action can change that.
Time and politics have made us less unified than we were on that day and the subsequent weeks as we collectively mourned. But we have a spirit that still lies right below the surface. When push comes to shove, Americans can and will stand together.
We must honor those who died, remembering how it happened and never let the memory fade. Two giant towers were collapsed, the heart of our military was pierced, and a field in Pennsylvania was shaken to its core.
But America prevails, lives on, fights, and remembers.
September 11, 2011.