Friday, September 11, 2009
On the Eleventh Day of September...
Eight years ago, people who hate us attacked our way of life.
Confused by a man who like a coward who hides to this day, they attacked us believing that they did so in the name of their god.
They attacked innocent people who were going about their business living a dream that those attackers despised because it was an American dream. A dream rooted in an idea that people forged out of an untamed land hundreds of years ago who came here looking for the chance to worship their God the way they pleased. Who came here looking to live a life where their dreams were as limitless as the new world they came to find on these shores.
These people attacked a land of dreams because - twisted by a man who seems to have lost the ability to dream of a world where anything is possible - they too lost the ability to dream.
And people working to make their dreams come true lost the chance to see those dreams become reality.
For each of them - this dream lives on today.
So going forward, on this eighth anniversary of events which some meant for evil, let us remember the dream which those who we lost would want us to keep alive.
Let's fix the problems of this society and the unfinished business that keeps us separated from becoming the great society those no longer with us dreamed that day we could be.
Let's rebuild ground zero and make it a beacon of freedom who refuse to let the attacks of this twisted zealot scare us into becoming what we know we ought not ever be.
Let's work in this land of the free to ensure that freedom is never attacked again by those from outside our shores who long to understand this freedom we have and from those within who - like those who attacked us eight years ago - have been twisted by zealots who have twisted the idea of what freedom means with nothing more than a maniacal selfishness which takes the dreams of some and twists them into nightmares capable of the unthinkable.
Let's work in this land to keep the dreams of those we lost that day alive by erasing all forms of hate from this land built by those who came here to escape it.
And let's find again the unity which the tumbling of those towers, which the crashing of a plane in Pennsylvania and which the assault on the Pentagon brought to our land for a time.
In the days after this affront to our freedom, the idea of a divided America faded into the solidarity of one people. It unleashed the pure power of everything good which this land of the free stands for. People of all religions, races and creeds and colors, came together as one as if to tell the world that this last, best hope of mankind on earth would not go quietly into the nightmare that these terrorists tried to force us into.
And in our rebellion of solidarity - in the strength of our unity - and through the force unleashed by our American idea - the world saw us rise into yet another one of our finest hours.
In the months and years that followed, the dreams of those lost didn't die, but the people to which they've been entrusted started to divide once again. The people divided into red states and blue states. Conservatives and Progressives. Pro this and Anti that.
And instead of working to make these dreams of the lost come true, our conversations became clouded and our uniquely American voice became many voices. And at some times, we've even seen the seeds of that which brainwashed those hijackers into flying those planes into those buildings being planted into the soul of American soil.
But these dreams live on. And so did our American story. And again, we turned the page on the confusion that followed in the name of those who died that day and another American morning dawned on us all.
And again, the world watched as once again, the idea of America persevered and brought upon the world another advance in the American story.
And it's because those innocent people who died working to make the American dream come true dreamed that this land could be this magical place where dreams do come true that these things have happened.
I think now we're again listening to their silent voices which are speaking to us from where those towers once stood.
They're saying to us - eight years later - that it is on each of us to remember their dreams. To finish the stories that they themselves weren't able to finish. To get past petty divisions so that we can indeed be the land of amazing dreams and limitless possibilities. So that we can once again show that man who hides in caves that we're living our lives and reaching daily for our American destiny because that's what this land is all about.
Because that's what those immortal dreams of those he stole from us are all about.
Because it's what the American idea is all about.
For those who have voices that were silenced but who have dreams that will never die, let us finish together the work of making them true.
On this, the Eleventh Day of September, let's pause to remember these dreams...
... and for those dreams let us make our American future come true.
And as a postscript I'm trying to temper from emotion - let's finish the business of bringing this coward who hides to American justice so that the Almighty - in whatever form you choose to believe that to be - might finish the unfinished business so that those who are silent might finally find eternal rest.
Goodnight to those we've lost. Thank you for calling us to be a better people than we were before and for inspiring us to be better as we reach for our tomorrow.
From Washington, DC...