As you read this letter, you may not even be aware that it's for you. You might not even be here, on Earth, to read these words. Or you might think the person next to you is the reason why we annually remember this day. That you were just doing your duty in order to protect and serve. On this day, 20 years ago, you were more courageous than you ever thought you could be. You were called and unbeknownst of the dangers waiting for you, you sacrificed everything you knew. No matter what you did and/or where you were, your life was priceless. A hero comes in many shapes, genders, races, sizes and ages. If you're still unsure if you're a hero, answer this: Were you a hero who was on the front line? Were you a hero that watched your loved one run towards the flames? Were you a hero whose life was taken too soon? Were you a hero who watched this nightmare, feeling helpless? Were you a hero who ran as the towers painted your skin gray? Were you a hero that was too young to comprehend what happened yet? Were you a hero who continued to live, even after this nightmare became reality? Now tell me if you were a hero? A hero is someone who puts their well-being last and cares for those around them first. A hero is someone who overcomes obstacles and endures during times of turmoil. This is not just a day for you, but a daily routine of honoring the memory of your hero. It's a day where race, religion, age, gender, occupation, social status and education was insignificant compared to the love we had for our country and the citizens who lived here. It's a day to honor those who were innocently affected and acknowledge other heroes who continue to serve this country. It's a day we need to educate the next generations in order for them to grasp the sacrifices these heroes carried and continue to make. It's a day to NEVER forget what happened on U.S. soil, no matter how much time has passed.
Understand this. We are not promised the next year, the next month, the next week or even the next day; so appreciate what you have this second.
Thank you for making the ultimate sacrifice that day. We FOREVER salute your sacrifice.