Eight years have not been enough time for the dust to settle on New York City, Washington, and Shanksville Pennsylvania. The deep wound of September 11 has slowly begun to heal, but the scar which now begins to form will remain a permanent blemish on our history and our country. Those in the future, yet to be born, will recall this cursed day with reverence and respect. Yet we who recall it today do so on far less lofty terms.
For those who have dedicated their lives to the study and eradication of terrorism, September 11 should be no different than any other day. Reports of the use of human lives for political ends are nothing new to the men and women who have dedicated themselves to this goal. But September 11 is a day in which we set aside study and debate, and remember the all-too-human toll that terrorism and the events of 9/11 take. For the bereaved families and friends, today is not about global jihad or policy, it is about a person. Or persons. Real human beings whose loss extends far beyond the cold limits of policy, deep into the hearts of their loved ones, and indeed of all Americans. While the utter scale of atrocity committed against the People is almost beyond comprehension, the simple grief of a sister or brother, a daughter or son, and mother or father, is all too easy to understand. This is terrorism's cost.
Today, let us once again set aside our differences as Republicans and Democrats, East Coasters or West Coasters, Youths or Seniors. Let us, as we did on this day 8 years ago, join together as Americans, and as sadder yet wiser citizens of the global community, in an effort to rededicate ourselves to the work which remains.
Today, let us once again demonstrate commitment to those around us, looking out for our fellow human being, and treating all with compassion and respect. Let the worth of our common good motivate us to look past the short term gain of our individual interests.
And today, let us draw inspiration from the 2,752 people who met their end in violence by committing ourselves to peace. Let us recognize that their being taken from the Earth far too soon mandates that we live each day to the fullest. And let us firmly resolve to stand in the defense of the inalienable rights of all people, protecting and defending humanity through mutual respect and compassion for our fellow human beings.