December 7, 1941 – a watershed moment in United States history as 2400 Americans died in the attack on Pearl Harbor. There was shock, horror, and an enormous sadness as the realization of this tragedy sunk in and the knowledge that a war for the US had begun, bringing even more death. But there was also a gathering together that we would stand united with our allies to do whatever was necessary to protect our country and defeat our enemies.
Sixty years later, that American spirit was seen once more as we experienced the largest loss of life from an attack on US soil since that day in 1941. Again, we pulled together as this tragedy touched the hearts of every person in all fifty states.
We currently hear of, and experience, the divisions within our country – and they are real. But at the core, we are all Americans who are proud of our country – a country imperfect in many ways – but a country that is willing to send its citizens in harms way to assist freedom in other parts of the world. A country that cares about this planet, that cares about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for each person and their freedom to be the best they can be. From these horrible experiences, we take stock and realize the immense privilege we have to live in this country of opportunity and re-commit to our part in ensuring that the United States of America continues to lead in freedom and justice for all.