As you go about your day, consider the sacrifice men and women have made for your freedom. Every service I go to, I’m reminded of the sacrifice these individuals have made. These people are not just serving leaders, but neither are they just good sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, cousins and neighbors. These people gave their lives so we can have our freedom every day. I never forget the ultimate sacrifice they have paid for me and our community.
As we consider the state of the world today we might consider what might have happened without their sacrifice. When I work with the military and first responder families, I always try to help where I can. I write this blog in honor of their memory. Unfortunately, it comes up painfully short. When I talk to a child who lost a father or mother, I’m at a loss for the words required to share my gratitude for their sacrifice. These children will never see their family members again. Their lives cut short while serving our country. I pray that people will always honor the memories of their fallen family members. I have discovered mourning is an important part of the loss of a loved one. People have many different ways of mourning from crying to anger to everything in between. All of these emotions are true and heartfelt. Some will become activists because of their loss; some withdraw into themselves to try to make sense of the tragedy. All in this community share and try to move on with their lives. It was never meant to be easy but the pain can become unbearable for the survivors.
When I talk to family members, I’m always surprised by the stories they share and the pride and joy they show for having their family members serve. From Washington, we hear that the nation is war weary and hollow politicians jump on the band wagon. They fail to realize what these warriors sacrificed or the far reaching losses many of these family members made for our freedom. They continue to be divisive and partisan in their attacks. They devalue the military community’s loss in search of political gain. These are men and women without courage.
No president takes the responsibility of sending men and women into harm’s way lightly. No matter what the political party, all who meet these families are touched by them. A part of the president’s soul is extinguished by the loss of these fine men and women and the impact on their families and communities. All presidents are aged by the weight of these responsibilities. All presidents understand the magnitude of their choices and they work hard to make the right decisions. Sometimes there may not be an easy decision, but there is always a courageous decision. It seems to me that those who would not choose are making a choice. If history has no other lesson it is that appeasing a dictator always ends up badly for our world.
As you remember the days leading up to 9/11, remember this was not their first attack on American soil. When thwarted, radical extremists redouble their efforts to harm our people. Remember that the first blow was not struck against our military but against our way of life. The victims of these terrorists acts were innocent citizens attacked where they work.
As you think about the cost we paid, consider taking time to thank the people who help keep our families safe. Take time today to thank the families whose family members serve to keep our world free.
Tomorrow, I’ll share my thought on first responders and individuals who work very hard to serve and protect our families, our communities, and our world at Honoring First Responders on 9/11, the Everyday American Patriots
Next week we will be back here sharing ideas on how to develop your lasting leadership legacy. See you then.