Words and phrases enter our collective conscience and define events large and small. From the catch phrase of a favorite television show to the rallying cry of a sports team, words elicit feelings and evoke emotion.
None, in my opinion, evokes as many complex emotions though as Never Forget.
Never Forget the 246 passengers and crew killed that morning; the 2,606 people at the World Trade Center including 411 emergency responders; the 125 people at the Pentagon.
Never Forget the mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, daughters and sons who left home that morning and never returned; sacrificed to the hatred of zealots and madmen. It was an act of cowardice and terrorism that continues to define us, individually and collectively.
Never Forget those who heeded the call to duty in the aftermath and the more than 6,000 American servicemen and women killed in the global “War on Terror.” We watched as our sons and daughters, nieces and nephews, neighbors and friends, left the comfort and security of their homes and took up the hard, demanding and necessary role of serving and protecting.
Never Forget the outpouring of support and love from our allies. Watching as strangers – in the chaotic and confusing aftermath – band together to help each other and themselves get to safety.
Take a few moments today – every day really – to reflect on that spirit. Reflect on what unites us rather than what divides us, on what makes us stronger instead of what makes us weak, on what connects us and not on what divides us.
Reflect on what makes us special.
Never Forget that on that morning eleven years ago, these men set out not only to kill American’s, they set out to kill an ideal, a way of life.
They set out to kill the American Spirit.
And that, they found out, is a lot tougher than it looks.
Never Forget that we are made up of a collection of states, and cities, and towns, and neighborhoods that form We, the People of the United States of America and that the American spirit is found in us all.
One day I hope we can look back and say, I Remember. I Remember the day that America mourned. But more than that, I Remember the day that America showed the world her spirit and the spirit of her people.
One nation, indivisible.