To say that we have faced a year filled with challenges is quite the understatement. However, in our nation’s history, we have faced many trying times and devastating tragedies. It’s been almost 20 years since the horrific attacks occurred on the morning of September 11, 2001. It was a day that we, as a nation, had not experienced in many, many years.
We watched in disbelief as almost 3,000 Americans died and more than 6,000 were injured. We hailed the heroes who risked their own lives to save their fellow citizens, some never to return home to their families. And at the end of the day we stood together, as one America, to mourn the loss and pray for healing.
There is no way to measure the total impact or magnitude that an event can have on our nation and it’s impossible to compare one tragedy to another. Instead, we must look at how we, as a people, work to overcome and heal from the scars left by these terrible events.
Right now, we are a nation in the midst of a global pandemic, once again engaged in efforts to overcome inequality and injustice, and experiencing feelings of division and uncertainty. In the weeks, months, and years that followed the 9-11 tragedy our nation worked to be better. We made an effort to thank and appreciate our first responders; we turned a day of darkness into what is now a day of service and giving; and we never forget the resilient spirit of all Americans.
Traditionally on this day we pause as a district to remember and honor those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. Today, I ask all of you to take a moment on your own to pause and reflect on the events of that day and honor the memory of those who perished in New York, Washington D.C., and a field in Pennsylvania. I ask that we also take a moment today to remember those who have had to overcome their own personal tragedy brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite the darkness that occasionally falls upon our land, the sun continues to shine it’s light on our great nation. Just as we never forget the events of September 11th, let us never forget our ability to overcome, persevere and come together as one nation. It is this strength, the American strength, that will see us through all that lies ahead.
Glenn Maleyko, Ph.D.