As we commemorate the 20th anniversary of 9/11, our minds are flooded with images and our hearts filled with emotion as the memories of that day return with the slightest reminder. This anniversary provides us with an opportunity to reflect upon the values we hold as a country and to reconnect with the sentiments that guided us 20 years ago. Following the tragic events in New York City, Washington, DC, and Shanksville, PA, we stood as one, resolved to preserve the freedoms that protect us as citizens and committed to opposing a common enemy that had the will to destroy us.
In many ways, we are able to draw similar parallels today. I challenge us as a community to act once more in solidarity against anyone, any institution, any disease, or any intrusive force that has the power to weaken or destroy us.
Further, let us recall the nearly 3,000 persons who lost their lives on American soil that day. Their grieving loved ones still grieve, and we grieve with them. The firefighters, police, first responders, counselors, and caregivers still remember, and we remember with them. Their co-workers and friends still hold their memories as a blessing, and we are blessed too.
Finally, let us recall the servicemen of our country and of countries around the world, who fought in Afghanistan for these 20 years to protect and to stand with those who were endangered, impoverished, and marginalized by forces for evil. We are grateful for their service and pray for those who have never returned home.
May this day evoke in our hearts the peace that our God desires for us. May it prompt us to love one another, and to pray for those who suffer from terrorism and hatred. May it inspire us to work for justice in our world, not only today, but always.
Be assured of my continuing prayers,