Twenty one years ago, our nation was faced with evil unlike anything we had ever seen.  2,977 lives were taken in an attempt to tear down the greatest symbol of democracy, freedom and hope the world has ever known.  But when the Twin Towers came down, our country rose up with unity, generosity and patriotism.

Like millions of Americans, I have a story of where I was when I saw the news.  I had joined the U.S. Army just one year prior, and as I was running on a treadmill alongside my fellow soldiers, I knew what it meant: we were going to deliver a reckoning to the people who had done this.  For twenty years, that’s what we did.  We took the fight to our enemies, and we stood tall for the flag that was embroidered on our uniforms.

In many ways, that is the story of the United States of America: resiliency.  Our country is a beacon of hope to billions across the globe and there will always be those who seek to tear it down.  But when we come under attack, we stand united, and the trial we face becomes another stitch that holds together fifty stars and thirteen red and white stripes.

As we reflect on September 11th, I hope that each and every one of you also reflects on the strength of our nation and what it means to be an American.  We will never forget.