11 years ago, America suffered a very chilling and rude awakening to hatred and death on our homeland. That day changed America forever in so many ways.
As I walked outside yesterday, the day and the weather were exactly the same to me as they were 11 years ago. Crisp temperatures, beautiful blue skies, not a cloud to be found. Just as it was on that fateful day. Like you I have many of my own memories of that time. I did not know anyone that was murdered that day, but many of you may have. The lives of those families were forever changed.
As I am a big baseball fan, I remember President Bush throwing out the first pitch at Yankee Stadium when the season resumed and the discussions about our resolve. The incredible patriotism that captured all of us. The new meaning of God Bless America during the 7th inning stretch. The changes that have happened to security that have touched all of us.
I watched the Red Sox and Yankees game last night on TV and was reminded again of the power of God Bless America. State Trooper Dan Clark sang one of the best renditions of the song that I have ever heard. The video is fairly short but when you see his passion and hear his voice, I hope that you will be moved as I was.
As a Yankee fan, I heard Ronan Tynan sing God Bless America at Yankee Stadium many times. Never failed to get chills from his performance. Check this out. Turn it up.
One more thing. It was mentioned to me yesterday just how much the attacks on 9/11 have cost America over the last 11 years. The impact that Bin Laden had on America is staggering and just continues to erode our families, lifestyles and economy. Here are some facts:
- 6,570 US troops have been killed in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars
- 2,977 people died on 9/11
- The costs to America for the two wars is conservatively estimated as $3 – 5 Trillion dollars
- With almost 50 percent of returning troops eligible to receive some level of disability payment, and more than 600,000 treated so far in veterans’ medical facilities, we now estimate that future disability payments and health care costs will total $600 billion to $900 billion
- The social costs, reflected in veteran suicides (which have topped 18 per day in recent years) and family breakups, are incalculable
- The United States has spent more than $7.6 trillion on defense and homeland security since the attacks of September 11, 2001
Our nation has $17 trillion dollars in financial debt. As stated above the cost to our society and people is incalculable. Bin Laden did much more than commit murder than day.
Take a moment today. Be grateful for what you have and do something that helps someone else. We are all Americans and it is up to us to continue to build on the incredible foundation of kindness and society that our forefathers built and intended to sustain. God Bless America.