Today marks the anniversary of one of the darkest days in U.S. history. Yet even with nearly 20 years separating us from that terrible moment, memories of 9/11 remain fresh in the American consciousness. The brutality of the terrorist attacks against the World Trade Center and Pentagon will never be forgotten, and for many of us, not even released from our immediate thoughts.
Then, as it is today with a global pandemic impacting every aspect of our lives … when times are at their worst is when Americans demonstrate their best. From the first responders who quickly organized rescue operations at Ground Zero, to local citizens banding together to provide relief supplies for each other, to the U.S. service members rapidly deploying to prevent against further attacks, America unified as a nation centered around individual and collective freedom and refused to let terrorism break it apart.
We have faced adversaries before. And as we have in all cases previously, our nation has endured. In every case, all Americans, with enduring support from our allies, have had a part to play in reaching these outcomes … and we, here at NPS, a diverse interservice, interagency and international military campus, understand our role in this ongoing struggle.
In remembrance of those lost on 9/11, I want you to also remember America's resiliency. Even today, with COVID-19 still impacting lives and creating tragedies, heroes emerge to lead the nation and their fellow Americans to victory. Whether the threat is foreign or viral, we will prevail if we remain vigilant and willing to extend a helping hand to those in need. Be accountable for yourself, and obligated to your fellow shipmates. We may never forget the tragedy of 9/11, but remembering it helps to ensure that we strive to do everything possible to build a better world for future generations.
For those of us here at NPS, I ask that you allow this day to inspire your work towards developing new and innovative ways to defend our great nation. Whether you swore an oath to defend the country or not, you are key to our NPS mission and your contributions will make sure that our citizens continue to enjoy the benefits of our liberties and embrace the responsibilities of freedom.
With these thoughts in mind, and in lieu of our traditional 9/11 Remembrance ceremony, our Center for Homeland Defense and Security and NPS communication teams have prepared three very special commemorative videos. I hope you take a few moments to view each, and share with others to honor those who lost their lives that day, in the conflicts since, and to honor those who serve today around the world fighting to keep us safe and free.
– CAPT Chuck Good, USN, Surface Warfare Chair at NPS - https://youtu.be/csXLRf3F3Sw
– Joseph A. Gallucci, Deputy Chief, Counter-terrorism, NYPD - https://youtu.be/8LFmHQ2J-Ks
– John Sudnik, Chief of Department, FDNY - https://youtu.be/a_HDQDtgiRo