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15 Years After 9/11

15 Years After 9/11


By Friday, 09 September 2016 03:28 PM Current | Bio | Archive

America is at our best when we are tested as a nation. Whether tests come from competition in the marketplace, the challenges of innovation and invention, the fight of war or the tragedy of terrorism, America always prevails.

America’s greatness does not come out of arrogance, superiority, or the exercise of super power; it comes from our freedom, diversity, education, tolerance, charity, goodness, and the rule of law.

Sept. 11, 2016, marks the 15th anniversary of the most horrific terrorists’ attacks on our homeland in our history.

As we look back at what happened on that day, we have to ask ourselves, what do we have to show for our response and remembrance to the attacks that day?

Now when I go by Ground Zero in lower Manhattan I see a gleaming new tower and below it a memorial and museum. I see a vibrant neighborhood reborn. I see Americans paying their respects but I also see people from all over the world as well.

Fifteen years ago on 9/11 I was a member of President George W. Bush’s Senior White House Staff. I was evacuated from my West Wing office as we were warned a plane was coming for us. I was relocated and began to work with a small White House staff contingent on what materials the president would need when he returned to the White House.

On that tragic September morning in 2001, I lost my nephew New York state Senior Court Officer Thomas Jurgens. Tommy was a first responder who died while rescuing people from the south tower of the Trade Center along with fellow New York Court officer’s Captain Harry Thompson and Senior Court Officer Mitch Wallace.

Harry and Mitch died too. Tommy’s remains were never found. The only items of his that were recovered were his mangled badge and melted gun. He was just 26 years old and married only three months. He had his whole life before him.

America’s greatest strengths are our freedom, liberty, and goodness.

They can be challenged but never be defeated.

We have crossed oceans to preserve freedom at tremendous cost to our nation in life and treasure. And, during the Great Depression while America was brought to its knees economically did we give up? No! We rose up. We knew we needed to grow our nation back to prosperity.

In 1930, ground was broken and construction begun on the world’s tallest skyscraper. One year and 45 days thereafter and ahead of schedule the Empire State Building was completed.

Our nation swelled with pride at the achievement and it gave a suffering nation great hope for a better tomorrow by the accomplishment of erecting a record breaking superstructure.

But you see it was not just about the building. It was about the spirit of a nation and its people, and the belief that America can overcome immense adversity and be better for it.

As we remember the events of 9/11, we should rededicate ourselves to renewing our national spirit of patriotism, ingenuity, perseverance, tolerance, and accomplishment.

While we face tough times today, these days pale in comparison to the challenges that came before us.

While I focused my attention on the attacks on New York, my thoughts and prayers are also with those in Shanksville, Pa., and Arlington Va., who suffered greatly that day as well.

We must never forget, not just for the sake of remembrance but also for the sake of what it means to be an American and the very survival of our nation.

Bradley A. Blakeman served as deputy assistant to President George W. Bush from 2001-04. He is currently a professor of politics and public policy at Georgetown University and a frequent contributor to Fox News Opinion. Read more reports from Bradley Blakeman — Click Here Now.





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America’s greatest strengths are our freedom, liberty, and goodness. They can be challenged but never be defeated. As we remember the events of 9/11, we should rededicate ourselves to renewing our national spirit.
911, freedom, liberty
Friday, 09 September 2016 03:28 PM
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