Eleven years ago and thousands of miles away, I learned that being an American is not a function of geography but rather a beautifully indomitable fire that burns inside each of us.
Regardless of our differences, we will always be UNITED – not in remembrance of the inhumanity of the attacks – but rather in our remembrance of the countless heroes who sacrificed that day so that the American dream could continue.
And there, my friend, is the beauty in the midst of utter destruction.
See, we are America. We are New York City. We are the World Trade Center. We are the families of 2,819 world citizen lost on hallowed ground. We are Cantor Fitzgerald. We are NYPD. We are FDNY. We are Rudy Giuliani. We are millions of peace-loving followers of Islam throughout the world. We are Sikhs who withstand misplaced retaliation. We are children who lost parents. We are parents who lost children. We are men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces protecting us in places that we don’t even have to consider. We are 307,212,123 pixels that, with all of our differences, combine to paint a picture of the greatest democratic society known to mankind – flaws and all.
What those terrorists tried to break, they only made stronger.