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9/11 memorial speech/moment of silence recording and transcript - 11AUG21

The recording for this event can be found here.


It isn’t very often, when something happens in your life that is ingrained so vividly into one’s memory that everything...the sounds, the smells, the sights...is seared into our minds. Twenty years ago, I was walking down the hallway of my high school and all of the kids I went to school with were starting the day as we always did...jokes, pranks, and stories. Not a single one of us had any idea that on the morning September 11th, 2001 would be one of those days. Nearly 3,000 people tragically lost their lives that day, and as I walked into my homeroom and saw my teacher crying and watching the TV, I had no idea what was going on until the horrifying scene of the South tower collapse appeared on the screen. It took only a moment to realize that the world, as I knew it, would be changing.

Twenty years later, and having lost so many lives in the ensuing war on terror, I have the honor and privilege to ask that we all remember the people who lost their lives on that day, and every day since, from the emergency personnel who lost their lives in the towers, to the civilians and visitors, and all the service members who made the ultimate sacrifice during the following war on terror. There have been very few times when the United States was hit in our home. With the division perpetuated by various subjects these days, let’s come together as human beings and remember the day that there was no division, and we came together not only as a country, but as a world to rebuke the actions taken that day and demonstrated that we can all, indeed, stand as one.

Shortly, we will be having a moment of silence to remember those we’ve lost, since the events of that day, and those resulting from it, have impacted each one of us in one form or another. I would ask for those who hold spiritual beliefs, to pray for these people and their families and reflect on the hope and courage that these bitter seeds yielded. One of our own brothers recently lost a friend of his, Marine Sergeant TJ Leuang (pronounced Lang) who was described as being a person who lit up a room whenever he entered, and embodied the values of an non-commissioned officer and was a happy, caring human being. Please keep him and the Sergeant’s family and friends in your thoughts and prayers as well as the most recent casualties in Kabul and throughout Afghanistan. With that, our moment of silence will begin.


Now that we have concluded our moment of silence, bear in mind that, while these events were tragic, the marking of this 20th anniversary should be a celebration of the lives of the people who we have lost, and a reminder not to take for granted the ones we still have with us. Thank you for your time, you are all dismissed.