10 years on, it continues to be important that we remember, that we tell the next generation what happened that day. In the years to come, we need to tell those who were not yet born then or were too young to remember that our nation was attacked, but not defeated, that good men and women were killed, innocent men and women, heroes. Even on that horrible day, when it was clear that the chance of survival was low, good men and women rushed in to save others, rushed in despite the risk to themselves, rushed in to their deaths. Strangers bonded together to survive, to help others survive. We need to tell them that it is the American nature not to give in, but rather to survive, to go on and rebuild. It's not just about reliving the horror of the day, it's remembering how we responded.
I've posted this tribute before. This tribute that was published in Pensions & Investments magazine on 10/15/2001 in an ad from Progress Investment Management Company. From the day I first read it, it has resonated with me. I have it hanging on my wall in my office, along with editorial artwork that shows the Statue of Liberty amidst the smoke, still standing tall. That's an image that will always stay with me and which I think represents that day and our country's response. They did their worst, yet she stood tall, unbowed, as did our nation.
Some things can not be adequately expressed, yet cry desperately to be told
told to those you know and love
to those you meet in passing
told to the children of today
and to those who are yet unborn
You need to tell them what you saw that day
And make them see....
the ones who fought with hand and axe
and took the stairs by twos,
who looked into the face of death
and stayed its hand,
if only for a moment,
with a calm ferocity of spirit
the ones in uniform and those without
who vanished in the coming of a madman's dream
the fatherless...the motherless...the childless who remain to mourn them
Tell them of the great heart of a great people
And let them ask, and let them hear your answers.
To our friends and colleagues at the New York City Fire Department
To the men and women of the Police Department and emergency medical services
To all who have sacrificed and those who will.
We will tell your stories.
We will remember.