We all remember that day–where we were, what we were doing, and how we felt about the horror unfolding in front of us. In my particular case, I was in a room full of fantastic Americans, all public servants entrusted with enormous responsibility to protect the citizens of this nation. Hard faces pointed in the direction of the television in the corner, eyes burning hot with anger at seeing such evil perpetrated on our nation and its citizens.
New York City. Arlington. Shanksville. Nearly three thousand people died that day. Among them, 343 firefighters, 71 law enforcement officers, and 55 members of the military.
It was a tough pill to swallow then, and one no easier consumed today.
Simply stated, for our brothers and sisters in uniform, it was The Day That Changed Everything. No foreign enemy had come calling on American soil with such ferocity and done so much damage, or taken so many lives since the attack on Pearl Harbor. Tuesday, September 11, 2001 was fourteen years ago, and the face of the world has changed pretty dramatically.
On that same date, though eleven years later, more great Americans were lost at the hands of Islamic terrorists in the city of Benghazi, Libya. The president and CEO of Force 12 Media lost his best friend and the topic remains a hotly-contested one. Grieving families pleading for answers, politicians…being politicians, and the iron-clad promise has been made to bring those responsibile–foreign and domestic–to justice.
Both instances illustrated what is best in us as Americans–ingenuity, courage in the face of overwhelming odds, and the willingness to make monumental sacrifices for the benefit of others. At the same time, both incidents remind us of the simple fact that a seething evil has declared war on us as a nation. It is brutality and savagery on scale most cannot comprehend…and it hasn’t stopped.
So as we take this day to reflect upon those events and raise our glasses in honor of those friends we’ve lost since September 11, 2001, those who fell in Benghazi on 9/11/2012, let us not forget that our enemies still plot and move against us, and let us be ever vigilant. We live in the greatest nation on earth…and there are countless individuals in distant lands in desperate need of a reminder.