Remembering 911 - A Tribute to the American Spirit

My current journey across the western USA reminds me once again how blessed I am to live in such a beautiful and diverse nation. On this 17th anniversary of 911, I am also reminded of the amazing fortitude and the heroism that was demonstrated on that horrific day. It is also a day to remember and honor the fallen, all of the innocent people who lost their lives, not only in NYC, DC and in Pennsylvania, but to also honor the brave men and women who gave their lives or were wounded in the military actions that ensued in the following years.

The United States of America is special because we believe that all people have the right to rise above their current standing to live the life of their dreams. That is the American Dream, to have the freedom to create our lives, to prosper from the fruit of our labor and to live in peace, free from the tyranny of government. These values are also desired by many good people all over the world who are denied these beautiful human values.

Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park - Photography by Paul Garrett

Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park - Photography by Paul Garrett

 As a people we are hard working, innovative and friendly. We may have been victimized at times, but we are never victims. Together we rise to any occasion and never give up, even during the most difficult times. You can say that Americans have an indomitable spirit.

 A week ago I attended the Zac Brown Band and One Republic concert at Safeco Field in Seattle. There was such a collective feeling of unity and happiness that evening. I was happy to see so many smiles from all walks of life. This feeling of friendliness has continued this past week as I have met so many gracious people each day of my road trip. We all have so much in common! Yes we have differences because we are all unique. Diversity, however, is something to celebrate and not to condemn. By bringing our wide ranging talents and points of view to the table we create a stronger country. 

Grand Teton Nation Park - Photography by Paul Garrett

Grand Teton Nation Park - Photography by Paul Garrett

 We may never understand what really happened on 911, but we do know that Americans are a strong and peaceful people. We value freedom, family and our country. We also acknowledge that evil exists, but we never cower to it. There have been critics who have tried to say that America’s best days are behind us. You have to question their motives for saying such nonsense. In my humble opinion, our best days are still ahead of us and this will continue to be true as long as we remember our values, stand up for them and continue to become the best versions of ourselves. We all matter and we all have something to contribute to the greater good of our nation and to the world. So on this day of remembrance, think about how you can contribute to making world the best that it can be. We are one and we are strong!

God bless,


P.S. - We are grateful each and everyday for our military and first responders who serve and protect us, as well as the emergency room personell. Thank you, thank you, thank you and peace to everyone! 


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