I am writing this editorial on Sunday morning, September 11 as I prepare to leave on a plane shortly for business trip to the Pentagon to discuss the Thunderbird Youth Academy. The meeting is scheduled for first thing on Monday morning. I must say, it gives me a little pause knowing I am flying on 9/11 to Washington D.C. to visit the Pentagon. For me and many others the events of 9/11 are still fresh in our minds and we will never forget the evil that was perpetrated on America by 19 highjackers who committed suicide and murder on 9/11/2001. There were just shy of 3,000 people who lost their lives and over 6,000 injured.
I am reminded of the remarks of Speaker Dennis Hastert and Sen. Tom Daschle, Majority Leader with Congress assembled behind them as they addressed the nation on 9/11. Speaker Hastert said they all stood united, House and Senate, Democrats and Republicans, they all stood shoulder to shoulder to fight this evil. Sen. Daschle said they would all speak with one voice to condemn the attacks and comfort the victim’s families. Following a moment of silence, spontaneously Congress sang together God Bless America, my home sweet home. It was truly a time of somber bipartisanship in America.
Today, some are still waiting for justice. The Oklahoman printed an article in their Sunday edition on September 11 about the capture of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Al-Qaida’s number three leader. He was arrested 18 months after 9/11. Today, he still sits in a U.S. Detention Center in Guantanomo Bay. His military tribunal has been endlessly postponed.
We now sit 21 years later. Over the last 21 years, we all have witnessed the disappearance of the unity, bipartisanship and united resolve we witnessed on live television 21 years ago today. On September 11, America united to fight a common enemy and to stand with the people who were injured and the families of those who died. September 11, 2001 was a horrible tragedy that we will never forget. It was a day when we all stood together for America.
As we pause to remember the attacks on America, I also encourage us to pause to remember a time of unity and resolve not only in Congress but also on Wall Street and the Main Streets across America standing together for the people of America.
Coming out of the pandemic, America is more divided than I have witnessed in my lifetime. Division is fed daily by various news channels on both sides of the political spectrum. It seems people watch whatever channel that confirms their beliefs. While America decries the disunity that now exists in Washington, it seems there is a race at each primary election to elect the most extreme of both parties. It is interesting to me that America wonders why there is disunity in Washington and no one can work together when at the same time they are electing and sending to Washington individuals who vow not to work together.
I pray that America never suffers another 9/11. It was truly a horrific time in our history. But I also long for a day when Congress will stand united for the people of America once again because our cry, our song is still God Bless America, my home sweet home.