This Sunday we mark the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, whose effect on the course of American history is still being written every day. Nearly 3,000 people of all faiths and 80 countries were killed that day and many more have perished in the fight against international terrorism in the decade since. The attacks pierced America’s sense of invulnerability but our resilience in the face of such unimaginable violence is a testament to the strength of our great nation.
The 10 years since September 11, 2001, have brought great and meaningful victories but also serious errors of judgment. Fittingly, this decade, which was largely defined by what we were fighting against, has been punctuated by the killing of Osama bin Laden. Now we can turn the page and make the next 10 years more about fighting for our common human values.
As we mark this somber anniversary, let us each take the time to honor the victims of the attacks: those who died at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the brave passengers of Flight 93 who prevented another attack on Washington, and all of the first responders who died saving the lives of others on 9/11 or who have died since then due to the illnesses they developed from that day. But let us also honor the lives of these men, women, and children by returning to the unity, the patriotism, and the resolve that they inspired within us in the immediate wake of the attacks. Let this, and not the fear and sorrow of that day, be the legacy of September 11.