The idea of writing a speech on the aftermath of 9/11 was initially frustrating, I froze. At first glance, seven years just didn’t seem to carry much reverence. However, the more I wrestled with the idea, the more I began to realize how flawed this way of thinking might be. I had minimized a moment in our nation’s history so powerful, that even seven years later, the images of that day are like fresh paint in our minds. Everyone in this room can remember the exact time and place they were when they heard about the tragedy that happened on September 11th. Although we are all from different places and we all had similar reactions to it. Not since December 7th 1941 - another day of infamy - have we as Americans been able to record our history as a people simply by mentioning the date. It is rare when more than a small percentage of our people will focus on any single event. We are too heterogeneous, too involved with our own interests, to see any single event in the same way at the same time. September 11th 2001 - 9/11 - changed all that. Perhaps it hasn't changed anything permanently, but at least for that day and its aftermath, it forced us all to experience and feel the same things. We all felt the shock, and horror, and fear, and overwhelming anger. September 11th has come to stand for that point where we were shocked out of our old patterns and into a new world, where the past became the present, where illusion became reality, where friends became enemies and vice versa, where weakness became courage and where peace became war. A war in which is still going on. And weather people want our troops to be there or not while we are here arguing they are still there fighting for us, protecting us. Those troops are made up of our friends, sons, daughters, nieces, nephews, cousins, boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands and wives. My really close friend who is a marine came back from Iraq in November after experiencing the loss of his best friend. Just...
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