We Will Never Forget

Let us never forget to honor the lives that have been lost with our commitment to the ideals that founded this Nation.

We will never forget.
Four simple words that evoke strong emotions on this day.
We will never forget the shock and horror of seeing planes crash into our buildings, and hearing of the one that crashed into a field in Pennsylvania.
We will never forget the lives that were lost; those on the planes, in the buildings, and those first responders who risked all to save others.
We will never forget the fear that engulfed us; the worry and wonder of what is next.
We will never forget … but we have.
We’ve forgotten what it is like to be American.
We’ve forgotten compassion and concern for our fellow citizens.
We’ve forgotten that our actions, or inaction, have global consequences.
We’ve forgotten that lives matter, all of them, and that community is important to those lives.
America held its collective breath 14 years ago and watched the world change before our eyes.
We came together as one. One nation, indivisible.  The patriotism was strong, as was our humanity.
Today, we are the most divided since the Civil War.  How did we forget what we swore not to?
How did we forget that the people of this great nation are what makes America strong, and that government derives its just power from the governed?
How did we forget that while we are individual states, we are United States?
On that day, did anyone care if the people running from the buildings were black or white?  Republican or Democrat?  Gay or straight?  We held each other close, and clung to the beliefs that we were attacked for who we are; for our freedoms, for our democracy.  Yet those are the very things we’ve sacrificed and forgotten since then.  We debate our inalienable rights.  We distrust and disrespect each other.  We gave up freedoms for greed.
Are we safer today than on that bright September morning 14 years ago?
Have we focused our attentions on the underlying causes and in strategically protecting this Nation?
It saddens me deeply to see us turn our backs on our fellow citizens.  It is frightening to think that our first responders, once so vaunted, are now disrespected and hunted.  Sadly, many are not the heroes we placed on pedestals.  It is disturbing beyond words the lack of respect that pervades the land, and is so ingrained in Washington.  It is a sad reflection of who we are becoming to see us turn our backs on each other, especially those in need, whether here in the United States or across the globe.
While we can take solace that Bin Laden is dead and al-Qaeda all but dismantled, new, stronger threats have emerged. Ones doing greater damage than we ever imagined or expected.  Persecution, anti-Semitism, genocide and destruction are on the rise across the globe, and we forget.  We forget that our shores are not unreachable by those who wish to do us harm.  While we debate each other, they grow stronger.   While Washington is locked in ideological gridlock, the world marches on.
Today, I ask you to remember.
I ask you to remember those we lost, and remember all those who gave selflessly to help others.
I ask you to remember not just where you were, but to remember your thoughts.
I ask you to remember not just what you felt, but remember why you felt it.
I ask you to remember the fear when the buildings fell, and remember the pride of seeing the American flag raised over the rubble.
I ask you to remember your concern; for yourself, your family, your friends, your neighbors.
I ask you to remember that we all have equal rights, individually, and remember that we have a responsibility to ourselves and each other.
I ask you to remember what makes us great, to think about how we can be even better, and to remember that at the polls next year.
I ask you to truly never forget.
Today is a National Day of Service and Remembrance.
I mourn the victims of those terrible attacks, and I mourn the America I love.
Let us never forget to honor the lives that have been lost with our commitment to the ideals that founded this Nation.

Respect and Responsibility

When did we lose all respect for each other?
I’ve never affiliated with one political party or another, but I have always respected the process, and believe in our Constitution and Rights. I vote for responsible candidates (is that even possible anymore?!), ones that put the People first, not ones that are strictly tied to party lines.
The levels of hatred and animosity in today’s campaigns are not just disturbing, but frightening.
If we cannot have consideration for one another, respect different opinions, cultures and ideas, I’m afraid we’ve lost what it means to be American.

I urge all the candidates, supporters, and everyone else to remember your Pledge, remember your Declaration, remember your Constitution. A house divided cannot stand.