Eleven years ago today, at right about this time, America suffered the most devastating attack on its own soil in history. Nothing like it has been seen here before or since. In that moment, America changed. We became united, albeit briefly, and we became a nation that needed to protect itself. In the hours, days, weeks, and months that followed, that fateful day colored every conversation, drove every policy agreement, and had a place in every law. It was the thought in the back of everyone's mind. Every time we turned on the television, it was with fear that another attack had come and with hope that we were finally safe.
Today, we remember those who died in the attacks. We remember that their unwilling sacrifice was beyond our understanding, that their legacy goes beyond our divisions, and that their memory goes beyond our lives and into generations to come. Today, we look back, but we also look forward.
We look back at the decisions that were made, the people who acted without thinking, without feeling, without hesitation, to help those in need. We look back at the bravery displayed by our fellow Americans at ground zero, in classrooms, in the halls of Congress, in the White House, in every living room of this great nation. We look back at the unifying power of that moment, how it cauterized a nation and forged in us an ability to lay aside our political and social differences and join hands in mourning, in solidarity, and in comfort. We look back on all that has happened since, all that has been done to remember and ensure that those victims did not die in vain.
We look forward to the end of fear, the end of war, and the end of death in the name of terrorism. We look forward to the day when we can proclaim that our work is done, that we are safe, that the world is a better place, and that the sacrifice has been met with action. We look forward to the day when we no longer have to fear for our children, our family, our friends and our neighbors. We look forward to the day when our men and women in uniform can come home and no longer have to pay the ultimate price for our freedom. We look forward to the day when we announce that justice has been done, whatever that may be.
Do not misunderstand me. I do not advocate for one course or another. This is not a message of partisan opinion. This is not me attempting to say what is right or wrong, good or bad. This is not a moment for the people of our nation to fight over the course of the future. We all have the same goal in mind. We all began this journey in the same place. We have all arrived at this moment. Let us lay aside the distractions of government, the worries of an election, and the policies of our lawmakers, and come together, even for just a moment, as we did eleven years ago. Let us feel as one again, and remember solemnly the reason for this day.
God Bless America.