Thirteen unlucky years ago, our country was attacked with malicious force. Many suffered a terrible fate, and a war against those who wished to terrorize America began. We were in classrooms, at daycare, home from school sick with the flu, or on a field trip when everything happened, and we never imagined the terrible things total strangers could do to us. None of us will forget where we were that day or what we were doing, and we will never forget the feelings of confusion, fear, and worry to which our families, neighborhoods, and cities fell victim. We will never forget the media’s frenzy, the hype concerning presidential decisions, and the bickering between political commentators. We will never forget the fallen soldiers brave enough to defend the freedom of total strangers, strong enough to leave their families without a guaranteed return, and courageous enough to face the enemy while the rest of us slept soundly in our beds.
It hasn’t been 13 years to celebrate, but it certainly hasn’t been 13 years spent in vain. Many men and women have given their lives these past 13 years. Two presidents have given their utmost efforts throughout these years, and two perpetrators of madness and insanity have since passed. But, even more importantly, through all these years, we have remained free. For that, I am thankful.
During times like these, it’s easy to get caught up in the recent happenings of the world, what new group is trying to attack our great country, or simply what flavor of latte you should get at the coffee shop. But just for a second today, or maybe longer, stop what you’re doing and take a look around you. See the your city’s buildings standing tall. See the trees in the park giving shade to a family picnic. Watch as students hustle to class and professors scribble on their chalkboards. What you see here is freedom. You have the right to pick and choose everything from what you want to do in life to who you want to marry to which religion you choose to practice, if any. For this, I am proud to say America is my home.
As today goes on, be proud and thankful to call yourself an American. Remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice so you can continue to live peacefully and safely in a country of opportunity and equality. Remember what evils exist beyond our borders and what they are willing to do to tear us down. Remember that your leaders will do their very best to keep us safe and free as we enter into yet another era of possibly more war. Most of all, remember to never take anything for granted.
God bless America. We will never forget.