Many of us were in school on Tuesday, September 11, 2001. Many of us didn’t even realize the impact of that date, even after we knew what had happened — because a 10 or 13 year old shouldn’t have to worry about a terrorist attack on her home soil. Maybe you were in college or working at your very first job and perhaps you did understand the magnitude of what happened, and that your life would never be the same. In the immediate aftermath, the television – every, single channel (including MTV and HGTV) were consumed with the headline, “America Under Attack.” Every radio station was playing around-the-clock coverage of various news outlets, fearing any moment there might be another attack. NASA was evacuated except for essential personnel, Disney World closed – one of the only times in its history that it has evacuated and closed its parks down. Airplanes were grounded at the nearest airport they could find, President Bush was whisked away from a Sarasota elementary school where he was promoting his education agenda, and time began to stand still.
We would come to learn the stories of heroism and heartbreak in the days and weeks that followed; some individuals who were part of rescue efforts are still experiencing side effects causing upper-respiratory diseases. Controversy would arise in the aftermath (and still exists today) over whether or not to invade the Middle East and deploy our armed forces into war. One thing is certain: people with hate in their hearts and malice on their minds boarded four planes that Tuesday morning and killed 2, 997 innocents.
At President Bush’s urging, the Congress passed Joint Resolution 71 by a vote of 407-0 on October 25, 2011 naming September 11th as Patriot Day, to commemorate those lives lost, those lives saved, and those who aided in the rescue efforts. Today, take a moment to remember those affected by the events of Tuesday, September 11, 2001. Take a moment to reflect on how your life was changed, how the course of history was thrown off balance, and how America fell victim to Islamic terrorists. And remember this: today is about being a patriot.