LASATA: 20 years later: Never forget September 11, 2001

On Sept. 11, 2001, we saw one of the greatest losses of life in our nation’s history. For many, Sept. 11 evokes vivid memories and strong emotions of that Tuesday morning that would forever shape the future of our nation. Now, 20 years later, many of those same emotions linger in the minds of those who lived through that day.

As I reflect on that fateful morning, I feel a strong sadness for those who lost their lives. As a nation, we will always remember the selflessness of the United 93 passengers who sacrificed themselves to prevent further tragedy, and the fearlessness of the brave first responders who ran into the twin towers — many of whom never came back out.

However, Sept. 11 will also forever be a day that unites us as Americans. It serves as a strong reminder that our freedom and way of life are worth defending.

In addition to serving as a way to honor the memory of those who lost their lives as a result of the attacks, Patriot Week, which begins on Sept. 11 and ends on Sept. 17 — Constitution Day — serves to help our country renew its spirit and appreciation for the values that America represents.

The week-long celebration highlights our nation’s founding principles, fallen patriots, Founding Fathers, speeches, flags and everything that has helped shape America into the symbol of freedom. Patriot Week is a great time for us all to come together and rediscover our dedication to our country and to one another.

As we approach the date, I encourage all area residents to join me in paying tribute to the brave first responders who showed extraordinary courage during 9/11 and to say thank you to our local first responders who are ready and willing to respond at a moment’s notice.

The tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001 will forever be etched in our minds. My thoughts and prayers will forever remain with the brave heroes who answered the call that day, as well as their families.

Sen. Kim LaSata, R-Coloma, represents the 21st state Senate District, which includes all of Berrien, Cass, and St. Joseph Counties.

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