Eleven Years Since 9/11, We Continue a Legacy

Eleven years later, that’s the legacy of 9/11 – the ability to say with confidence that no adversary and no act of terrorism can change who we are. We are Americans, and we will protect and preserve this country we love. On this solemn anniversary, let’s remember those we lost, let us reaffirm the values they stood for, and let us keep moving forward as one nation and one people. ? The President of the United States.

For me, a septuagenarian (That is a strange and ominous word), time literally flies by.

Thus I was amazed to read this morning that in just three more days it will be the eleventh anniversary of a day — a tragedy — we will never forget.

It is thus only fitting that the president would devote his weekly address to the nation to remembering the nearly 3,000 innocent we lost on that day and to honoring the first responders and the men and women in uniform who, subsequently, have served and sacrificed to keep our nation safe.

The President has also signed a proclamation making Friday, September 7 through Sunday, September 9, 2012 National Days of Prayer and Remembrance.

Here is the president’s address:

“This week, we mark the eleventh anniversary of the September 11th attacks. It’s a time to remember the nearly 3,000 innocent men, women and children we lost, and the families they left behind. It’s a chance to honor the courage of the first responders who risked their lives – on that day, and every day since. And it’s an opportunity to give thanks for our men and women in uniform who have served and sacrificed, sometimes far from home, to keep our country safe.

This anniversary is about them. It’s also a time to reflect on just how far we’ve come as a nation these past eleven years.

On that clear September morning, as America watched the towers fall, and the Pentagon burn, and the wreckage smoldering in a Pennsylvania field, we were filled with questions. Where had the attacks come from, and how would America respond? Would they fundamentally weaken the country we love? Would they change who we are?

The last decade has been a difficult one, but together, we have answered those questions and come back stronger as a nation.

We took the fight to al Qaeda, decimated their leadership, and put them on a path to defeat. And thanks to the courage and skill of our intelligence personnel and armed forces, Osama bin Laden will never threaten America again.

Instead of pulling back from the world, we’ve strengthened our alliances while improving our security here at home. As Americans, we refuse to live in fear. Today, a new tower rises above the New York skyline. And our country is stronger, safer and more respected in the world.

Instead of turning on each other, we’ve resisted the temptation to give in to mistrust and suspicion. I have always said that America is at war with al Qaeda and its affiliates – and we will never be at war with Islam or any other religion. We are the United States of America. Our freedom and diversity make us unique, and they will always be central to who we are as a nation.

Instead of changing who we are, the attacks have brought out the best in the American people. More than 5 million members of the 9/11 Generation have worn America’s uniform over the past decade, and we’ve seen an outpouring of goodwill towards our military, veterans, and their families. Together, they’ve done everything we’ve asked of them. We’ve ended the war in Iraq and brought our troops home. We brought an end to the Taliban regime. We’ve trained Afghan Security Forces, and forged a partnership with a new Afghan Government. And by the end 2014, the transition in Afghanistan will be complete and our war there will be over.

And finally, instead of turning inward with grief, we’ve honored the memory of those we lost by giving back to our communities, serving those in need, and reaffirming the values at the heart of who we are as a people. That’s why we mark September 11th as a National Day of Service and Remembrance. Because we are one American family. And we look out for each other – not just on the difficult days, but every day.

Eleven years later, that’s the legacy of 9/11 – the ability to say with confidence that no adversary and no act of terrorism can change who we are. We are Americans, and we will protect and preserve this country we love. On this solemn anniversary, let’s remember those we lost, let us reaffirm the values they stood for, and let us keep moving forward as one nation and one people.”

Author: DORIAN DE WIND, Military Affairs Columnist

8 Comments

  1. I’d say we’ve change a lot and not all in a good way. Our congress folk passed a lot of laws that have breached our privacy in the name of security. Eleven years later, it’s time to start reevaluating those laws that are so intrusive in our everyday lives. Past time.

  2. I have to agree with you, TO, that some of the changes since 9/11 may have not been for the best. I especially am concerned with the deep divisions that continue — and appear to worsen — in our country and I may have more to say about that.

    However, I believe that what the president says about remembering and honoring the 9/11 victims and first responders, about our military and the sacrifices they have made and continue to make and about how we have made our country more secure is correct and that that is the “legacy” we are continuing, and rightly so.

  3. Dorian

    I agree with honoring those lost and those that serve, but take exception to his statement that the attack didn’t change who we are but brought out the best in us. Certainly in some ways it did, but we are left with the detrius of security overreach and seem to have no effective way of cleaning that up.

  4. “We brought an end to the Taliban regime.” Would that it were true.

  5. “We brought an end to the Taliban regime.” Would that it were true


    In the first phase of Operation Enduring Freedom, ground forces of the Afghan United Front working with teams of U.S. and British Special Forces and with U.S. air support, ousted the Taliban regime from power in Kabul and most of Afghanistan in a matter of weeks. Most of the senior Taliban leadership fled to neighboring Pakistan, some being flown out in the Kunduz airlift. The democratic Islamic Republic of Afghanistan was established and an interim government under Hamid Karzai was created which was also democratically elected by the Afghan people in the 2004 general elections.

    :

    Added:

    The present government in Afghanistan, corrupt as it may be, is the legitimate regime in Afghanistan.

    The Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan, as persistent, powerful and damaging as they may be to the Afghans and the allied forces, are no longer the Afghanistan regime.

    The president’s statement is factually correct.

  6. Please see what happens after we “leave”.

  7. I have to agree with Ohioan. 9/11 changed America in a very bad way. We’ve proven Yoda right: “Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”. We’ve become a nation where liberty and justive are 2nd or 3rd considerations, and once a year we parade out the list of victims to remind us all why we “need” to have invasive TSA procedures, warrantless wiretaps, warrantless GPS tracking, infiltration of religious and charitable organizations by the FBI, waterboarding, Gitmo, renditions, pilotless drones (foreigh and domestic), and we are a nation worse divided than we were before.

    This is a tragedy continually used to tear us apart and strip our liberties away. It dishonors the memory of the fallen, not respects it. For once I’d like to see a 9/11 memorial address this point. But we won’t, because it’s far easier to use it to sow sadness& fear.

  8. Agree with Ohio and Barky. AQ, won a tremendous battle.

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