Nearly a decade ago, our world both as Americans and more specifically New Yorkers changed drastically. At the time it seemed like a change for the worst; a change in the balance of power throughout the global community that left the future of America vulnerable. As all Americans know, change is not easy; more so when it comes with the tears that were shed over the destruction at the World Trade Center, Pentagon and outside Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
With the heightened security throughout the nation, our armed forces began the crusade to rid the world of terrorism, starting with the international figurehead of terrorism and the head of Al Qaeda; Osama Bin Laden. During the last 10 years, the men and women of our armed services have combed the mountains and deserts of the Middle East eliminating threat after threat to the human race although still eluded by Bin Laden.
As our country’s citizens continued to grieve and seek justice, the improvements we saw in the war on terror were beginning to become outweighed by the loss of American life and the responsibility for inspiration and closure shifted to the American people. Never once were our principles open for compromise and never once was there any doubt that we would rebuild and our country would be even stronger than it was and nowhere better would that confidence be displayed than New York.
Many young New Yorkers lost siblings, parents, relatives and friends on 9/11, taking the brunt of the destruction, both physically and emotionally. As America carried the struggle alongside those in New York, many of these losses, over time, yielded the tremendous sense of patriotism that our country saw, which inspired a new wave of public service and an appreciation for those who lost their lives for us. As lower Manhattan began to rebuild, the surge for justice began to build on its foundation, achieving greater and more prominent victories that would undoubtedly lead to a joyous pinnacle.
The death of Osama Bin Laden is not the joyous pinnacle or finale of the war on terrorism. This is simply another step forward for our country and is a testament to the bond that was forged between every New Yorker, every American and every man and every woman who served our country and even more with those who lost their lives defending freedom and liberty. This new victory would not have happened without those who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our country; those are celebrated with every victory like this and will always be in memories.
Healing the wounds inflicted after 9/11 is not about the reconstruction at ground zero or the death of one man; it is about how we advance and learn from these experiences as one nation. As a result, Americans became more vigilant and were accepting of the changes that were necessary to protect our country. The improvements made in our country will be cemented as we continue to work together to see that America never experiences another day like September 11, 2001.
Before 9/11, the World Trade Center Towers were a symbol of the American way. 10 years later the antithesis of the American way was captured and killed. With a continued trust in our leaders, all Americans’ should have renewed faith in our countries capacity to maintain security within our borders and defend our interests around the globe.
New York State Young Democrats