As we approach the anniversary of the attacks on the America, there are many things to be remembered.
Published 9:47 am Thursday, September 11, 2003
There are, of course, the people we lost as those planes struck the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, that Pennsylvania field. There are the families that they left behind.
Let us not forget the firefighters who rushed in to the burning buildings that everyone else was running away from. Let us not forget they died trying to do what we as a nation wanted, to save those people who were only guilty of being American, and some of them not even of that.
We should not forget the ones who have died in the time since, those fighting the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, died searching for Osama Bin Laden, the mastermind behind those cowardly attacks.
Then there is the extended fight. There are those who have died in Iraq, and while not directly tied to the attacks on America that dark day in September, there is no question that nation at the very least allowed terrorists to train inside its borders and to travel there in search of asylum.
There were Americans who have been killed since 9-11 in bombings in far-flung places, and they are as much to be remembered on this day as the others who fell victim to terrorists.
This is a national day of mourning, a day to remember the ones who died fighting, who died just going to work, those who died that others might have a chance to live.
It is to remember the families who have an empty place at the table every single night, who are struggling to make ends meet, to help children understand why mommy or daddy will not be coming home anymore.
And it is more.
It is a day to rejoice that America as a nation has not collapsed, has not done much more than taken a deep breath before we got on with the task at hand, bringing those responsible for the attacks to justice.
We did not waver, we did not fall, we will not give in to those who would see us close our borders, expel anyone who was not born on these shores.
It is a day to shake our fists defiantly in the air and say 'This is still the United States of America. We are still the greatest republic ever conceived, and nothing you can do to us will make us change the way we live here. We are strong enough to withstand our people saying what is wrong here, what needs to be changed here, and we are strong enough to find the ones who did this, to hunt them down and make them pay. We are the United States of America.'
We are saddened by our losses, but we are strengthened by the sacrifice of our heroes.
We will wipe away our tears, and we will go on.
In the words of one of our heroes, 'Let's roll.'