September 11 is day to remember a time in our nation when we put aside our politics, our traditions, our opinions, and our disagreements to focus on what really matters... LIFE. On this day, many of us realized that death is tragic, but life is precious. For me personally, I felt a connection with other Americans that I hadn’t felt before (or again) in my lifetime. We were connected to one another, though for a brief time, in a profound way. Our hearts and prayers were focused in the same direction.
Life was forever changed for many Americans. We are told that 2,896 people were killed and more than 6,000 others wounded. There were 265 who died on the four planes (including the 19 radical Muslim terrorists), 2,606 in the World Trade Center and in the surrounding area, and 125 at the Pentagon. All of these individuals had families and friends that grieved that day, and every day since the terrorist attacks. Nearly 1,200 people died in the weeks and months after the attack due to complications or injuries from this event.
Life was forever changed for many relief workers and public servants. There were 343 firefighters and 71 law enforcement officers who died in the World Trade Center and on the ground in New York City. Another law enforcement officer who died when United Airlines Flight 93 crashed into a field near Shanksville, PA. Countless others sacrificed their health and well-being to save others. This debt is impossible to pay back or even comprehend.
Life was forever changed for our military. There were 55 military personnel who died at the Pentagon. However, the War on Terrorism, that came after the attacks, have continued to add blood and treasure to list of sacrifices we have made as a nation to stamp out evil in the world. It is estimated that since September 11, 2001 there have been nearly 7,000 deaths and over 52,000 injured in Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Freedom's Sentinel, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation New Dawn, and Operation Inherent Resolve.
Life was forever changed for our world. Arguably, every nation, tribe and tongue has been impacted since September 11, 2001. There were 2,605 U.S. citizens, including 2,135 civilians, that died in the attacks, but there were an additional 372 non-U.S. citizens (excluding the 19 perpetrators) also perished on that day. Think about this… 12% of the total dead on September 11, 2001 were not from the US. More than 90 countries lost citizens in the attacks including the United Kingdom (67 deaths), the Dominican Republic (47 deaths), and India (41 deaths), among several others. Death came to black, white, Asian, Latino, Indian, and all of us alike.
Life is a precious thing. Today is not just a day to think about death, sacrifice or tragedy, but to think about how blessed we are to live on this earth, and in this country. LIFE… it's how you live it… it’s about what you do with it… it’s a beautiful thing to have it. Don’t waste your life. May God bless you as you find your purpose in life. And, may God continue to bless America!
You are loved.
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