This year, our remembrance of 9/11 comes when we as a nation stare down significant turmoil at home and abroad.
Abroad, President Trump just committed additional troops (our sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, moms, dads, husbands, wives) to Afghanistan to beat back continued movement from the Islamic State, the Taliban, and other terrorist groups. Tensions with North Korea are rising daily as the rouge regime attempts to threaten Americans and our allies with nuclear weapons.
Here at home, Hurricane Irma hit us yesterday on the heels of the devastation of Hurricane Harvey. In Colorado, we have been blanketed in smoke for most of September as wildfires rage across the West.
But today, as we pledge yet again to absolutely “never forget”, I want to recognize the American spirit of pure strength, virtue, and determination.
In the days and months after September 11, 2001 our nation came together – across all political, social, or demographic lines.
One of my favorite recollections of this moment was when President Bush threw out the first pitch in Yankee Stadium during the World Series later that fall. The entire stadium stands and chants “USA! USA! USA!” as Fox shows a fan's banner that reads “USA FEARS NOBODY, PLAY BALL”.
Today that same spirit lives on in the face of our current trials.
Americans are the most generous people in the world. The response we saw in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey is astounding, and I expect we will witness the same in Florida in the coming days. Our military is heroic and ever-ready to fight tirelessly against oppression and evil.
This is the true American spirit, the one that we need to teach and show to our children every day.
My prayers are with all of those afflicted by Hurricane Irma, and all other natural disasters we've witnessed in recent weeks. My prayers are daily with our military men and women overseas, especially on 9/11 - we hear you, we see you, we love you.