In the greater scheme of history our nation has existed but a few short years. During that time, we have survived a war of brother against brother on our own soil. We have survived dramatic financial losses of economic news, of young people rebelling against the establishment. We have survived two world wars, international hostile engagements, and a conflict not supported by many average citizens. We have survived riots, major political scandals and the assassination of presidents and other leaders. We have coped, we have regrouped, we have re-examined. But one thing we have not done. We have not become a defeated people!
We do mourn the death of our brothers and sisters, those during the attack of 9-11 and others serving their country. Homes have been shattered. Daily living for thousands has been ripped apart without any prospect to regain normalcy. Even at this point there is no way to measure the effects of individual Americans and their children. Our government, military and society, have had to redefine themselves. Believing that humanity has learned lessons from the past, WE BECAME CONFUSED BY THE ACTIONS OF THOSE CLAIMING TO MURDER IN THE NAME OF RELIGION. We have experience shock, anger, and even bitterness.
But this day we choose to honor the lives and causes of all that is good in those already departed and that which remain in ourselves living today. We look to God and each other for strength and hope. We honor the highest of patriotism and devotion. We honor family and that indescribable something which makes our capitalist democracy work. We flee to old-fashioned ideals which were the principles declared by our nation’s founders.
We honor what our country has done. America has in every generation overcome evil. America has fed the world. America has been the international conscience for justice. Today we honor that which we together are yet going to do. We are going to reevaluate what gives quality to our living. We are going to put aside whatever would divide us and become the America that stands higher and stronger than ever before as a shining light to the world.
We are the people of 9-11. We are not towers. We are not money. We are not weapons of war. We are not airplanes. We are mothers and fathers, grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins. We are children playing in the yard and students who are in school. We are workers on the job and shoppers seeking necessities or gifts to share with a loved one. We are people whose soldiers cradle tearful children. We are people whose heroes are those which were once taken for granted. We are freedom loving people with a varied faith in the eternal God and the blessed hope for mankind. We are the grand and glorious United States of America. And united we resolve to be. United we stand. Let’s roll! Let’s roll!! Let’s roll!!! (Last words spoken by a passenger on the Pennsylvania plane they caused to crash so it would not hit another building.)