Every American, and especially every New Yorker, knows the world changed on September 11th, 2001. I hope you’ll pause, as I do each year on this day, to honor those who were lost, to reaffirm our commitment to one another, and to recall the lessons that terrible day taught us.
On that clear, perfect September morning, unimaginable terror reached from desolate, dusty nations half a world away and attempted to break the spirit of this great country. The world learned an important lesson that day, and not the one Osama Bin Laden thought he would deliver. The world learned that America is resilient and that adversity, no matter how terrible, calls out the best in us. On September 11th a failed ideology of extremism and hatred didn’t break our spirit; it summoned American courage and determination.
Today, as the rising threat from ISIS has drawn America’s attention once again to the Middle East, it is vital that we recall the circumstances of 9/11, and take smart, considered, and appropriate actions to prevent ISIS and other extremist terror groups from threatening our way of life. If left unchecked ISIS could destabilize the entire Middle East, undo the work Americans have done to stabilize the region, and become an increased threat to the homeland.
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