Hard to believe that 15 years ago our lives here in the Western world were changed forever by a few extremists and a misguided view of our freedoms.
September 11, 2001, everything changed. Like Kennedy’s assassination a generation before, we will all remember where we were on that day. In the end, for a lot of us, it was the end of our belief that all we’d done for better or worse in the Middle East was “over there”. Suddenly, their wars, their religions, and their crap was right here, in our face. Today, we look at the refugee situation not as friendly allies and with welcoming arms, but instead as cautious folks, wondering what’s next.
So no matter where you were that terrible day, remember the unselfish call of duty that led firefighters, police, and other first responders to dash into crippled buildings without fear. Remember how countries forgot politics for at least a little while and united to help the fallen. Remember how citizens rallied around one another to make sure that anyone who needed resources would be given them.
No matter what, our lives were all changed that day. I know that many of you guys are north of the border in Canada and were not directly impacted by the events of 9-11, but it still impacted the entire economy and the foreign policy for years to come. You gave sons, daughters, and fathers and mothers to the fight against extremism in the ensuing years, and I honor that, too.
So this year, on the fifteenth anniversary of the attacks on the United States, hug those you care about. Look fondly on the flag that you defend – and that defends you – and remember that no matter how well you treat others, at some point, there are those who would dearly love to hurt you because of the beliefs that you have. At some point in every life will come a time to defend what you hold dear, and know that it is simply a part of the process of life and of being a citizen.
I pray that we need never go through this sort of thing again, but I know from experience that when we do, great countries and peoples such as us will stand up and get counted – and defend our lands against those who would attempt to subvert our lives and beliefs.
God Bless those who defended us in the past and those who will do it again today.