President’s Voice – September 2021
President’s Message: An article from Kay James, Heritage Foundation In Remembrance of 9/11… Let us never forget those who died and their families.
Today is a day when millions of us will pause in prayer and remembrance of the tragic events on that crisp Tuesday morning 20 years ago. If you’re like me, everything about that terrible day is burned into your soul. The shock, the fear, the incomprehensible brutality, the sudden sense of vulnerability.
Recently, my grandson was given a school assignment to learn about 9/11. He was told to interview someone who was around then. As he asked me questions about what happened that day, the memories came flooding back.
On September 11, 2001, I was the director of the Office of Personnel Management and I was working in Washington that day. For 20 years, I have known what terror feels like up close.
Every American felt the crippling anguish deep in our souls as we realized our nation was under attack and as we watched nearly 3,000 of our fellow Americans tragically lose their lives. We will never forget those who died in Shanksville, at the Pentagon, and in the Twin Towers.
However, I choose to focus on other things. I remember the unimaginable bravery of our first responders, and how the nation felt, for a brief time anyway, truly united. I reflect on how we refused to be cowed by murderous terrorists but instead rallied to proudly defend our nation and our way of life. I think about the thousands of young men and women who volunteered to take up arms against an elusive enemy, many of
whom gave the last full measure of devotion to protect us.
There was a lot of talk at the time about how 9/11 would change everything. In some ways, I wish that were true. If anything, we are more divided today than we were before 9/11, and many of our leaders refuse to learn the lessons of previous terrorist attacks.
Now our president and his advisers have put the Taliban terrorists in a stronger position than they were in back in 2001. They’ve let the Taliban reclaim Afghanistan with more territory than they had in 2001, with billions in U.S. military equipment we left behind, and with hundreds of American hostages the president abandoned. They’ve shown the world weakness instead of strength. They’ve handed today’s
would-be Islamic terrorists a victory to rally around.
Where we go from here depends on us — on you and me — standing up and making our voices heard. We must demand that this administration be held accountable for their actions. We can’t allow them to change the subject, shift the narrative, or place the blame on others. The nearly 3,000 Americans who died on 9/11 and the nearly 2,500 who died in Afghanistan in the 20 years since deserve nothing less.
We also should be happy warriors for freedom, unashamed to cheer our successes, and unapologetic in the defense of our founding values. We should demand that our leaders jealously guard our freedoms at home and resolutely defend America against threats from abroad. We should never forget how unique and indispensable we are as a nation.
For now, I hope that you will simply join me in praying for those who lost loved ones 20 years ago and resolving never to let anything like this ever happen again.
All the best,
Kay C. James
President, The Heritage Foundation
The Heritage Foundation
Beverly Ferguson-Cooper, M.Ed.
Bay Area Republican Women
President’s Voice Continued