The 20th Anniversary of 9/11
Like so many Americans, I will never forget the morning of September 11, 2001. I was heading to the airport when I first heard the news that a plane crashed into the World Trade Center. I immediately returned home to see the harrowing scenes of our fellow citizens covered with debris trying to escape what looked like a war zone. I remember watching the brave firefighters, police officers, and first responders running into harm’s way and risking their own lives to save others. When the second plane hit, the scenes of the towers both ablaze and then collapsing left me and every American that day in utter disbelief and asking ourselves, how could such a catastrophic attack ever happen in the United States?
I went to church and prayed for our President, for our first responders, and for the families who were desperately trying to get a hold of their loved ones. My daughters were sent home from school and as a family we watched the news unfold minute by minute as the Pentagon was attacked and Flight 93 crashed in Pennsylvania.
That evening my girls and I looked up into the sky and I pointed out that there were no planes visible for the first time that I can remember, a moment for us to embrace the reality that our Nation would never be the same. America had been a target of a terrorist attack and endured a day that would change the course of history. In the days following, amidst the feelings of anger, disbelief, and grief, the American people demonstrated their unwavering strength and fortitude to stand together, unified, one Nation, under God.
Two decades later, we must never forget the 2,977 Americans who lost their lives that day, and the families whose worlds would never again be complete. Standing atop the rubble, President Bush delivered his now famous remarks to first responders at Ground Zero, “I can hear you. The rest of the world hears you, and the people who knocked these buildings will hear all of us soon.” Thousands more Americans would die in the 2 decades following 9/11, serving on distant battlefields to protect our great Republic and deliver justice to those who wished us harm. 20 years later we mourn for the people we never met, reflect on a day that forever changed our country’s history, and remember the American spirit and resiliency that comforted us during our darkest hours.
Remember the Fallen. God Bless America.
In God we trust,