Sept. 11, 2001 is a date that most people who experienced it will remember for the rest of their lives. I personally will never forget my own experience with that date.
Events like Sept. 11 reshape one’s perspective. For most of my life, it was simply the day after my birthday (Sept. 10) and the date of my parent’s anniversary. Since 2001, however, it has never been the same. After the attacks on 9/11, Americans resolved that we would join in solidarity in protecting ourselves and neighbors against those who bore ill-will towards us.
Our nation now also takes the time annually to remember those we have lost in the tragedy, and to renew that solidarity.
I have been especially impressed by the extent to which local residents and organizations have worked to ensure that the losses of that day – and extent to which our country pulled together – has been appropriately commemorated. In neighborhoods across Dundalk, Essex, Edgemere-Sparrows Point, and Rosedale, there have been collective memorial ceremonies in addition to the countless individual tributes.
Indeed, all Americans, and especially residents of the sixth district, honor the selfless men and women of our armed forces, the dedicated members of our public safety units, and our committed law enforcement communities. We honor those countless individuals who work hard every day to protect our country and secure our liberty. And we honor the sacrifices made by the first responders who were on the front lines after the attack.
Ten years later, these commemorations are as important as ever, not only to honor the memories of the thousands of heroes we lost that day, but to remind ourselves of what our country is all about. At a time in our nation when our unemployment rates continue to hover near 10 percent, the price of gas, energy, and most other goods are far too high, and our federal government remains mired in a spiraling debt, we need to be reminded of – and need to have our leaders reminded of – the innate goodness and potential of America.
Keeping the history of 9/11 is important for future generations, as well. Consider the following: current 10th graders were in kindergarten during the attacks, and most 9th-grade students had not yet even started their schooling. For these students, all they will know about Sept.11 is the historical perspective we give them.
The United States Congress designated Sept. 11 of each year as “Patriot Day,” to commemorate the events of Sept. 11, 2001. Upon the creation of Patriot Day, President Bush suggested that the nation should remember the innocent victims lost that day, and that the country pay tribute to the valiant firefighters, police officers, emergency personnel, and ordinary citizens who risked their lives so others might live.
On this 10th anniversary of 9/11, let us do exactly that – pay tribute to the bravery of all citizens and the heroism of our first responders, exhibited on Sept.11 as well as in our everyday lives.