Several months ago, I was reviewing in court the file on a long-standing matter when I came across a letter that I had written on September 10, 2001. Seeing that date, I was momentarily stunned by that stark reminder of my normal life on the eve of 9-11, a life so completely unaware that the world was about to be radically changed, that I would soon be pulled from my family, from my seat on the county council, and my law practice to spend the next 9 years in support of counter-terrorism efforts, including 3 years in Iraq. Now, having lived those events and more recently observed the travesty in Afghanistan, I offer three key reflections:
1. The United States of America is a leader. Leaders look forward and, in the process, leave their backsides exposed to the ash and trash of the world, including some of our own, who seek to excuse their own failures by attacking the leader. They believe that criticizing and attacking the leader somehow makes them better than the leader.
2. Our national memory fades quickly and we must all work hard to teach the next generation about the incredible sacrifices made by those whose lives were shed for liberty and the amazing progress the United States of America, that great shining light on the hill, has brought to the world. It wasn’t long ago that we lionized police as our heroes, taught our children about our founding fathers, and never abandoned our own.
3. There are a lot of beautiful people in this country who will display amazing courage and selflessness when duty calls. We recently lost 13 of them in Afghanistan but there are many more serving today in our military and police, in our hospitals, schools, fire companies, and churches.
On Saturday, I will be attending a number of 9-11 remembrance ceremonies. I want to thank all of those involved in creating those opportunities for the next generations to learn about the sacrifices that Americans have made for us and for the world.
God bless America.