Seven years since the world stopped moving and stared at their televisions in shock and tears. Seven years since those horrible images and unimaginable bravery. Seven years since the United States got a better understanding of how people in Europe and Israel have felt for so very long.
To this day, I remain in awe of the way that the Police and Fire Departments of New York performed in the face of terror. Of how those brave individuals went up those stairs while everyone else was running down. Of the men and women who rushed to help at the Pentagon. Of the passengers and flight attendants of Flight 93 who realized what was happening and chose to go down fighting, ordinary people without training or a duty to perform, who chose death rather than allow anyone else to be hurt.
To this day, simply murmuring "Let's Roll" brings a flush of emotion to my face and forces me to choke down both tears and overwhelming pride in my fellow Americans.
I will not politicize this day, although the part of me that feels we have strayed from a path that would prevent another attack wants me to do so. But there are no men and women in service to this nation who do not want to prevent that horror from reoccurring. That we may differ on how to achieve that goal is very normal, and let's face it, very American.
But we should also realize that September 11 is not a day when only America grieves. It was called the World Trading Center for a good reason. Nationals of over 90 countries died that day. The attack may have been on America, but it impacted the entire world.
Over 200,000 Germans marched in support of both the United States and all who lost citizens and friends; wives, husbands and children. Le Monde's headline read "We Are All Americans."
Today is not a day about the red stripes in our flag, but about the red blood shed from all over the world. Yes, it is also right and proper that we honor our own and also that we celebrate the spirit of our nation.
Let us never forget any of the victims, regardless of their citizenship. September 11, 2001 was a horrible day for all of the human race.
My thoughts and prayers are with all of us who were hurt that day and most especially with the families and friends of all those whose lives ended that day, whether doing their duty or just their job.