Today is Patriot Day. It is a unique holiday because it was created out of a horrific event. What do you say to people? Happy Patriot Day? Merry Patriot Day? Have a blessed Patriot Day? How do you celebrate it? Wear Red, White, and Blue? Fly Old Glory on your house?
Might I suggest the following? Today do two things: One, live your life. Take your kids to their soccer games, go to the football game and tailgate, do your yard work and chores. But while you are doing those things you MUST do the number two thing. In the back of your mind give thanks and say a small prayer.
You see today is not about us versus them. It’s not about one culture better then another. And it is certainly not about burning holy books. It never was and never will be. Today it is about US. The greatness that is our nation. Nine years ago our backs may have been broken, BUT NOT OUR SPIRIT. The soul of our country is in Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence. It lives in the words of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. We heard it from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. And President Kennedy challenged us when he asked us “What will you do for your country?”
Buildings, flags, and planes will burn, but not the spirit and soul of our nation. What I remember the most from 9/11? How our nation reacted in the following days. We wept but from our tears came resolve. We mourned, and from this grew strength. We hated, but from this hatred a surge of Patriotism was forged. I remember many things from those days, but one simple thing will always be etched in my mind. A simple thing, but part of our fabric. Baseball. I will never forget Yankee Stadium. The first World Series since the attacks. A full house. NYPD and NYFD in attendance. And I will never forget the reaction of the crowd when President Bush threw out the first pitch. The crowd went wild. It was electric and magical at the same time. And it was our country’s way of saying “America is open for business.”
Nine years later our nation is divided on many things and many issues. But today let us all put those differences aside and bond together under one flag, under one nation, celebrating our life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. So no matter what your religious, personal, or political beliefs are: I wish to say to you as one proud American to another. Have a wonderful Patriot Day!!!