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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Never Forget (10 Years Later)

What started out as any other day ended notoriously as one of the darkest days in United States history.
The World Trade Center reduced to a cloud of smoke and ash as the people of New York, and all over
the world, watched in horror; the result of coordinated terrorist suicide attacks which took the lives of
nearly 3,000 Americans.  The images of that day live in our memory forever; the haunting footage of
planes slicing through the towers, people covered in dust running from the wreckage, firemen
scrambling to find survivors.

September 11, 2001 is not only remembered for the attacks, but for the sense of unity that made being
an American mean more on that day, and the days following.  On that day, regardless of nationality,
sexuality, political or religious views, we were all Americans and we showed the rest of the world just
how important it was to all of us.  It could be described as a humanity makeover, but the most simple
and honest observation of the aftermath is people acting with the kind of compassion we're all born
with before ignorance and intolerance separate us.

I remember the day well, but I choose to remember how proud I was, and still am to this day, to be an
American.  I choose to remember the kind of humanity and union that was displayed as the passengers of
Flight 93 came together to fight back, to prevent more tragedy.  That is the real story of 9/11, the
united voice of Americans that told our enemies with pride that they did not break us, they did not
weaken us, they only made us stronger as a nation.  "Never Forget", the words used to represent that
day, are meant to remind us all to remember.  Not just to remember those lost but to remember the
America we can be and what we're capable of when tragedy strikes, how we were able to pull together
and ignore the differences that keep us divided when we're not vulnerable.

The man who ordered the attacks, Osama Bin Laden, is dead.  Does it mean anything?  Probably not to
most, but for some it may provide a sense of closure, of justice, of vengeance.  For the men and women
of our military, it probably means victory, and it means that the sacrifice of nearly 5,000 U.S. troops
was not in vain.  Our military continues to fight, because more than anyone else they are proud of our
country and feel that it's worth fighting for and they give the ultimate sacrifice for us.  Every day as
they fight for our freedom, the people of our armed forces represent the very best of what this country
stands for.  On 9/11, our actions showed the world what this country is all about.  Never forget.

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