9/11. I truly don’t know where to start on this one. On one hand it’s a day of profound sadness and grief, but it’s also a day that sparks an immense source of pride, demomstrates the indefatigable resilience of America as a nation, and the unwavering heroism of those involved.

Sure, I could sit here and repeat any number of patriotic comments about the 9/11 anniversary (as well we should), but in our hearts as a nation we already know these comments are felt by every true American on such a day.

We need to not only listen intently to the stories of those affected but to take these experiences and etch them permanently into our psyche. It is not enough to remember those that have gone before us only on this day, but every day good Americans are able to enjoy the freedoms that those who have gone before us have worked so hard to secure.

What makes 9/11 significant is not the horrific acts of wanton terror that plunged our nation once again into war, but the circumstances in which countless American heroes rose to the occasion and responded to the unprovoked attack. The citizens, first responders, men and women of the armed forces, and anyone else who has answered the call since then are what make 9/11 what it is and how it will be forever remembered.

While the sacrifices of the fallen are constantly in our hearts and minds, 9/11 serves as another poignant reminder that there is evil in this world that would seek to destroy us if given the chance, and we owe it to our fellow brothers and sisters to celebrate and honor those who have gone before us as we continue that fight on their behalf.

“Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.”

Being grateful on September 11th: A Marine veteran and father looks back

Read Next: Being grateful on September 11th: A Marine veteran and father looks back

–14C

***

(Featured Image Courtesy: DVIDs. Sailors assigned to the guided-missile destroyer Pre-Commissioning Unit Michael Murphy (DDG 112) salute the 9/11 Memorial as the ship transits New York Harbor in preparation for her commissioning Oct. 6. The new destroyer honors the late Lt. (SEAL) Michael P. Murphy, a New York native, who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions in combat as leader of a four-man reconnaissance team in Afghanistan. Murphy was the first person to be awarded the medal for actions in Afghanistan, and the first member of the U.S. Navy to receive the Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War. Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class John Scorza)