Anger and Hope… Two Sides of the Same Coin on 9/11

Following the horrific events of September 11, 2001, we vowed we’d never forget. We haven’t. And we never will.

No matter how many days, months and years pass, we will always remember 9/11 and the thousands of American lives lost on that tragic day.

All because of one of the most evil, cowardly and despicable deeds in the history of mankind.

All because 19 terrorists believed so strongly in their “cause” – the demise of America – they were willing to die for it. While the masterminds sat back and laughed.

Ceremonies and Commemorations

Today, the 9/11 Memorial and Museum will commemorate the lives lost with a ceremony honoring victims at the World Trade Center, Pentagon and aboard Flight 93. The names of those who died will be read during the ceremony.

Today, firefighters in firehouses throughout New York City will observe moments of silence as bells ring to commemorate the moments that tragedy struck.

Today, teachers across the nation will talk to students who were too young or not yet born about the events of that day. They will educate them about the significance of the day and teach them how they can memorialize it.

Tonight, twin beams of light will rise from the roof of Battery Parking Garage, south of the 9/11 Memorial. Lights comprised of 88 7,000-watt xenon light bulbs will reach four miles into the sky, replicating the shape of the Twin Towers.

Jealous Enemies Will Never Prevail

Eighteen years later, the United States of America still has plenty of enemies. They live for one goal – to bring us to our knees.

They are jealous of our freedoms and our liberty. They’re envious of our strength and resolve.

They’re covetous of our natural resources and ingenuity. They’re jealous of our scientists, professors, politicians, corporate leaders, entertainers, athletes and astronauts.

They’d never admit it, but deep down they know the only way they can compete with the U.S. in any arena is not by raising themselves up, but by attempting to bring us down to their level.

Always Be Vigilant

I must admit, from year to year, my emotions vary on this day. Some years I’m overcome with sadness. Other years I’m filled with hurt. And some years I just feel disillusioned.

This year, I’m distraught. I can’t look at old photos of the Twin Towers without feeling grief.

When I sat down to write this 9/11 remembrance, I planned to make it as upbeat as possible. After all, it’s been 18 years since we suffered the worst attack on American soil. Surely by now the anger should have passed, right?

No, the anger has not passed. But I do want to look at the positives. If nothing else, 9/11 taught us that we need to be prepared for the worst.

We must be constantly on our guard, both against willful enemies and random circumstances.

Sorrowful, Yet Optimistic

And perhaps, after all, there are a few things we can be upbeat about on this most solemn of occasions.

While we mourn those thousands who lost their lives on 9/11, we can celebrate their bravery.

While we pause in silence to acknowledge their sacrifice, we can be grateful that the actions of some victims saved the lives of others.

While we agonize with the families who lost loved ones, we can fully appreciate the heroic actions of police officers and other first responders who made such a difference.

Let’s Never Forget

So yes, I’m angry at our enemies for their dastardly, unprovoked and vicious attack on 9/11. And you know what? I don’t ever want to lose that righteous anger.

I don’t ever want to become complacent about what occurred on that day, 18 years ago today.

But I’m also hopeful. I’m confident that we’ve learned and grown since that day. And I’m convinced we’re better prepared than ever to deal with the unknown and the unexpected.

Never forget 9/11! I never will. And I know as American patriots, you will never forget it either.

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