It’s been nine years. Like most of you, I remember it like it was yesterday. I doubt any of us will completely wipe the images from our minds, whether we want to or not. My mom has mentioned a couple of times that it was her JFK, and her mother’s Pearl Harbor. Every generation since World War 2 has had a defining moment - one that has changed the way our country, and culture, developed and grew over the next years. This observation does lead me to wonder - what will the next event be? And when will it occur?
Perhaps the next defining moment will be a positive one - a decisive battle that clinches the victory in Afghanistan. Or maybe a sudden upswing in the economy. But I doubt it. Happy things are rarely remembered by many - our culture dwells on the negative, perhaps as a way to avoid past mistakes, or to keep us grounded.
Whatever the reason, we come upon the ninth anniversary of my generation’s defining moment. And it does seem fitting, in a way, that this morning a group of radio control aviators will take to the skies in the brilliant sheen of warbirds from conflicts past - a nod back to my grandparents’ defining moment on the shores of Hawaii.
So today, I choose to not mourn those that have fallen, but celebrate their sacrifice - the blood that was spilled nine years ago today. I am choosing to celebrate the country they held dear, as we all do. And I choose to pay my respects to those that defend this country so that our citizens shan't have to bear the burden of that sacrifice again.
There are young people alive today that don’t remember 9/11. They either weren’t here yet, or were too young to understand it all. But their generation will have a defining moment, just as we had, and just as those before us did as well.
I pray that moment will be a positive one, but if not - I know that America can, and forever will be able to, endure. But it will never be able to forget. And that, my friends, is the way it should be.
God Bless America.