9/11 revealed America’s true character

It’s long been said that adversity doesn’t build character, it reveals it.

There has been, perhaps, no tougher day in American history than Sept. 11, 2001. And on that day, despite the shock and devastation we all felt as we watched terrorists use hijacked airplanes to attack us, and on the days immediately after, our nation definitely showed its true character.

First responders bravely charged into the unknown in New York and Washington to try and rescue their fellow citizens, not knowing what awaited them. Some never made it back out.

We all know the story of the selfless folks aboard ill-fated Flight 93 who, despite being fully aware they’d never leave the plane alive, overtook the hijackers and intentionally crashed the plane into an empty field in Shanksville, all to keep the aircraft from carrying out its mission of destroying either the White House or the Capitol building.

And ordinary Americans everywhere, eager to help people they had never met, donated blood, volunteered support, provided goods to recovering victims and helped out in countless other ways.

We also saw a newfound appreciation for our country, its flag and the republic for which it stands.

We were all shaken and saddened by that day. But our country got up, literally dusted itself off and came back stronger than ever.

And our nation again felt great pride when the news that our military had killed 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden was spreading, knowing justice had been served and he could never harm us again.

So as we observe the anniversary of that tragic day this Sunday and reflect on the 15 years that have passed since, we can think back with sadness on the attack, but with pride on what the attack revealed in us – that no matter what happens, we are and will forever be the UNITED States of America.


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