Honoring Our Heroes on Patriot Day

Any change, even for the better, is ALWAYS accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts” -Arnold Bennett

WTC_LightsPatriot Day was signed into law as a Holiday in December 18th, 2001 by former President George W Bush and is recognized on Sept. 11 of each year. Designed to honor the over 3,000 people who were loved and lost in the September 11, 2001 attacks, the most tragic terrorist attack ever on American soil. On this day, the President directs all Government offices, American homes, and the White House to fly their American flags at half-staff. We are also asked to observe a moment of silence at 8:46 AM, the momemnt when the American Airlines flight 11 hit the North tower.

Many of our lives were woken up that fateful Tuesday morning…I was still in High School in Calculus class when our teacher had walked down to the principal’s office to speak about something and when she returned, she had tears in her eyes. Her husband was in the military.

We watched the 2nd plane hit…

That day is one day that I can almost remember every detail, from how we had to design an antenna out of paper clips to watch TV in Latin class to who I saw and talked with that night. Following the 2nd plane hit though, it seemed like I watched TV for a week straight. We were all wondering who could have done such a thing, why us, and what would it mean. I remember trying to make sense of it all, to which I never did. I don’t think I realized the impact of the attacks until later that week. The impact is still going on today…

Hearing the Star-Spangled Banner on 9/21/09 at our first football game since the attacks was the first time I realized we were going to be alright in the long run. And it has been a long long run.

The one thing that we can almost all agree on is that September 11 marked the day when the United States woke back up to a country of unity and pride. United States flags flew off the shelves, people gathered together to mourn, and moments of silence were taken throughout the nation. Fire Departments, Police Departments, and EMS Services from across the nation flocked to New York to lend hands wherever they could. The nation pooled money to help those who had lost their fathers, sons, brothers, mothers, daughters, and sisters. Millions joined the US Military to defend our freedoms and all of the securities we took for granted before 9/11. Looking back today, it was amazing the compassion and urgency that the world showed from that moment on. I believe that it will be the most important moment I will ever witness.

I don’t believe that Patriot Day was established to mourn those lost ones of Sept. 11, 2001, but instead to give thanks for the sacrifices made… Things are getting better. New York has recovered, people are healing, and construction of the World Trade Center Memorial is underway. The economy is coming back around, soldiers are coming home to their families, and the government has united in the fight against terrorism. Things will continue to get better as long as we continue to move forward as a nation.

Give thanks for the brave men and women protecting our most vital assets: Life, Liberty and most importantly…Freedom. Patriot Day is quickly approaching and even at half-staff our flags will still fly high.

“You can be sure that the American spirit will prevail over this tragedy.” -Colin Powell

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