Thank you to the people who are there at a moment’s notice, to the firefighters and police officers, to the medical personnel, and all first responders, to the members of the National Guard and AmeriCorps. Thank you to our soldiers, who, by volunteering, secure civilians in predictable career paths without a need to worry about drafts or required terms of service. Thank you to our soldiers for nation building in other people’s nations. Thank you to our military for striving to be progressive and inclusive, even while our government wavers.
Today is not just about terrorism. It is about being grateful for the service of our neighbors and grateful for our civil life, founded in revolutionary ideals. As citizens, we do and should have regrets for our actions in the aftermath of the largest terrorist attack ever on the United States. Today, though, is about rethinking and remembering. Today is about considering what untimely death means anywhere, anytime. Today may be a day of solidarity for us, Americans, but it is also a much wider day of solidarity for us, citizens of the world, victims of hatred imbued by bigotry. We are not pardoned for our own intolerance because we have suffered, but maybe we are wiser.
I am hoping this is patriotism.