As we reflect on the nine-year anniversary of the Sept.11 attacks, one thing is clear, the values and beliefs that have forged America are as strong as ever.
No act of terrorism or period of economic recession can undermine the core of what America is built upon. This nation, which recovered from that dark day nine years ago, is just as strong and resilient in the face of the current economic climate. We will overcome the troubles we face today to see a better, brighter future for our children.
This Patriot Day should serve as a reminder to us that patriots from times long past endured struggles, faced challenges, and forged ahead into uncertain futures with a confidence instilled by our American values. These ideals have and will continue to help us overcome all obstacles. They guided our founders in crafting a unique experiment in human liberty. They were what Lincoln relied on during the struggle to preserve the Union and end slavery. They were a message of hope to a world in darkness during World War II. And nine years ago they carried the day in spite of our enemies’ efforts.
Last year I expressed a belief we should teach future generations the lessons of Sept. 11: The lessons of heroism, sacrifice, and to remember to say “I love you” to those closest to us. This year I would add the lessons of the power of patriotism and the resilience of the principles that make us Americans. When the 19 hijackers unleashed their brutal assault on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, they attacked more than just buildings and people; they assaulted the very idea that is America, an idea that every individual has value, deserves freedom, and should be able to set their own course in life.
The terrorists attempted to destroy much on that day, but they could not put a dent in our patriotism and our fundamental principles of liberty. Instead, we saw in the days following the attacks a renewed expression of that Patriotism and freedom, and our country only grew stronger.
Now, as we continue to face an uncertain and changing world, rife with economic turmoil and political unease, I remain confident in the lessons of history, that there is nothing in the world that could undermine what America stands for. As long as we continue to teach our children and grandchildren about the unique character of our nation, a nation of ideas, and as long as we remain faithful to those ideas, we will overcome all struggles, and we will endure all hardships. As we recognize Patriot Day, let us practice the most important act of patriotism, passing on the love for country and forging a new generation of patriots.
Rep. John Linder, R-Duluth, has served in the House of Representatives since 1992.