On that day, we came face-to-face with a cold reality: there are people in this world who are determined to sacrifice their own lives for nothing more than to deliver harm to our fellow Americans.
Nearly 3,000 men and women lost their lives in the terrorist attack. I believe the most fitting way to honor their memory is to remain ever vigilant in the protection of our country and the preservation of our freedom.
We should also be reminded that terrorism was not the only event we witnessed that day. We saw policeman, firefighters, rescue personnel, members of the military, and regular citizens carry out staggering acts of heroism, risking their own lives for people they had never met.
These scenes were tremendous, but yet familiar to all of us, as we've seen them before in our own communities. They illustrate why acts of cowardice and terrorism will never defeat the American spirit.
As our flags were at half staff Monday, it is appropriate that we keep in our thoughts and prayers those brave men and women whose lives were taken; thank those who serve the cause of defending our country; and recognize our first responders who answer the call in times of need.
I hope Sept. 11 is a day of remembrance of our loss, but also an affirmation of our nation's strength and resolve.