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9/11 Reflections 10 Years Later

Written by Johnny O on September 11, 2011

September 11, 2001 is a date that most people who experienced it will remember for the rest of their lives. I personally will never forget my own experience with that date. Events like September 11 re-shape one's perspective. For most of my life, it was simply the day after my birthday (September 10) and the date of my parent's anniversary. Since 2001, however, it's never been the same. After the attacks on 9/11, Americans resolved that we would join in solidarity in protecting ourselves and neighbors against those whom bore ill-will towards us. Moreover, our nation also has annually taken the time to remember those we have lost in the tragedy and to renew that solidarity. I have been especially impressed by the extent to which local residents and organizations have labored to ensure that the losses of that fateful day - and extent to which our country pulled together - has been appropriately commemorated. In neighborhoods across Dundalk, Essex, Edgemere-Sparrows Point, and Rosedale, there have been collective memorial ceremonies in addition to the countless individual tributes.

Indeed, all Americans, and especially residents of the sixth district, honor the selfless men and women of our Armed Forces, the dedicated members of our public safety, and our committed law enforcement communities. We honor those countless individuals who work hard every day to protect our country and secure our liberty. And we honor the sacrifices made by the first responders who were on the front lines after the attack. Ten years later, these commemorations are as important as ever, not only to honor the memories of the thousands of heroes we lost that day, but to remind ourselves of what our country is all about. At a time in our nation when our unemployment rates continue to hover near ten percent, the price of gas, energy, and most other goods are far too high, and our federal government remains mired in a spiraling debt, we need to be reminded of - and need to have our leaders reminded of - the innate goodness and potential of America.

The United States Congress designated September 11 of each year as "Patriot Day," to commemorate the events of September 11, 2001. Upon the creation of Patriot Day, President Bush suggested that the nation should remember the innocent victims lost that day, and that the country pay tribute to the valiant firefighters, police officers, emergency personnel, and ordinary citizens who risked their lives so others might live. On this tenth anniversary of 9/11, let us do exactly that - pay tribute to the bravery of all citizens and the heroism of our first responders, exhibited on September 11 as well as in our everyday lives.

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