This year on September 11th, Americans will mourn the 18th anniversary of one of the most horrific days in U.S. history. We will pause and remember the way we felt when we first heard the news. We will recall where we were and who we were surrounded by. We will mourn the lives lost and the families who still grieve.
There is no way to fully describe the national feeling of loss after a day like September 11th, but fortunately, the story does not end there. On September 12th, we saw the spirit of American freedom stir in the hearts of our fellow men as the nation rose from its knees, battered and bruised, yet determined to rebuild.
In the days that followed the September 11th attacks, we watched heroes from coast to coast travel to New York to help pull people from the rubble, citizens from far and wide drive to their local health center to donate blood, and neighbors emerge from their homes to spend time with one another, care for one another, and help one another.
In the spirit of the passengers on Flight 93 who rushed the cockpit knowing the only way they could save others was to sacrifice themselves, America rose from the ashes of the 2001 attacks stronger, more caring, and more aware of their duty as American patriots than ever before.
I believe it is this story that will define that dark day in American history. It is this story that we must shout from the rooftops and teach fervently in our schools. The passion of our people that was displayed in the days following September 11th must be preserved for ourselves and passed on to our children.
No one can forget turning to the nearest television and watching in horror as another passenger plane soared directly into the second of the twin towers, or the hour that followed where we witnessed those iconic pieces of the New York City skyline collapse into the streets below.
As we remember this day, I encourage you to also never forget the way you felt for your fellow man and the duty you felt to your country in 2001. The way we embraced one another and loved our neighbors. The way we lent a hand to the helpless and offered our prayers for complete strangers. We are strongest when we care for others, work alongside one another, and stand together.
So, on this September 11th, may we truly "Never Forget" the lives lost, the heroes and the way we came together and loved one another.