Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance
September 8, 2022
From the National Office of the Veterans of Foreign Wars
Edited and Submitted by Wahkiakum Post 5297
September 11, 2001. It was the day when across the country, daily tasks and meetings were put on hold. Millions of Americans were frozen in horror as we witnessed a brand of ruthlessness and evil beyond the realm of comprehension.
It was difficult to grasp the scope of the tragedies that day. It was the single most tragic day in terms of fatalities in our nation’s history next to the battle of Antietam on September 17, 1862. Many of us thought it was the worst day of our lives.
For many of us, the memories of that day are as vivid and painful now as they were more than two decades ago. While time cannot ever remove that pain, we can find some consolation in remembering how our nation was united in the subsequent days and months following the attacks.
Our nation came together to ensure evilness didn’t triumph over good that day. The accounts of hope and heroism that emerged from the rubble of ground zero, the Pentagon, and that rural Pennsylvania field, inspired us all. To this day those remarkable chronicles of valor serve as reminders of all that is good and true in the human spirit.
In our grief, our nation and its citizenry stood tall and defiantly proud in the face of our enemies as police, firefighters and airplane passengers gave their lives to save their fellow man. Their heroism will never be forgotten by a grateful America nor by VFW members who, by their own experiences, recognize heroism and the high cost that comes with it.
From that day, we made a determination that no such attack will again be visited on us or any other nation. We learned that we must combat terror and those who seek to deliver terror. Today, we are fighting to ensure that the liberties we enjoy – the freedoms we cherish – will be secured for future generations.
This Sunday, as we honor the memory of those lost on September 11, know that our nation is indeed more secure. The resolve born out of tragedy made us stronger and has made us better as a nation. We were transformed on 9/11 and as citizens, we have spent the last 21 years determined that America continues to be the bright and shining example of liberty and democracy for all nations and people to emulate, just as it has been since its grand inception in 1776.
As we pause to remember those who lost their lives on that day, let us also give thanks to the men and women serving in our armed forces … for all of the sacrifices they make for all of us. There is no duty more important than protecting America, our citizens, our ideals and our way of life. Accordingly, they so widely epitomize the words duty, patriotism and honor.
For generations to come, Americans will look back on 9/11 and remember their responsibilities to preserving liberty and maintaining our ideals and by doing so will honor the memory and the deeds of 9/11.
Let us each vow to do more than we did the day before to serve our communities and our nation. By committing ourselves to our families, to our communities and to our country, we continue to show the world what makes America so unique. It is what makes America great … a symbol of hope. I believe that is the best way to honor the memory of those lost due to the events of September 11.