September 11, 2001. The day that America changed. It’s been 20 years since New York City was shaken by several coordinated terrorist attacks that claimed the lives of 2,996 people including those at the World Trade Center in NYC, The Pentagon in Washington, and Shanksville, PA.
As a result of this tragedy, some families lost their loved ones while others had their lives torn apart as they watched from afar. The impact this event had on Americans and people all over the world was far reaching. We are still experiencing it today in TSA lines and security protocols adopted since then.
The stories that emerged from the ashes were tragic. Those people will never be forgotten and some have been immortalized in history books and on street signs across New York City.
I want to take this opportunity to thank the heroes that sprung into action that day—those who helped people out of the wreckage, the first responders who fearlessly stepped in to save lives, and the officers who courageously kept citizens safe as the events unfolded. They didn’t think twice about saving another’s life while risking their own lives.
As a country, as a world, we were caught off guard by the depths of the evil that invaded our lives.
We cannot be caught off guard again.
May the lesson we learn from this horrific act of cowardice not be one of fear, or hate or bias, but may the lesson be that we must stay alert, prepared, aware and connected to each other. We cannot allow bullies of any kind to strip away our friends, loved ones, our society, our country, our freedoms or our affinity for the good in each of us as humans.
We honor the memory of all of the lives lost and all the heroes who responded.