September 11, 2001 will not only be remembered by all Americans as a day of infamy, but will forever mark each of us as a moment when time stood still.
I will never forget it. For some reason I had not turned on the news that morning, which was very unusual for me. I was literally walking through the garage door on my way to an appointment when the telephone rang. It was my youngest daughter. The first words out of her mouth were, “Daddy, are you watching the news?” I said, “no.” She said, “turn it on.” I did, and I cannot remember another thing that happened that day.
It is as if the horrific events of 9-1-1 washed over me like a tsunami wiping everything else from the landscape. When I tuned in, the first tower had already been hit, but it had not fallen. I watched people leap to their deaths. I watched as both towers came crashing down. Every American who loves this country remembers the moment we heard it, saw it, felt it. We were the American family, experiencing tragedy together, inspired by the sacrifice of our first responders and the bravery of neighbor helping neighbor.
This is the 13th Anniversary of that terrible day.
Ironically in only three days, we will celebrate the 200th Anniversary of the Star-Spangled Banner, written at a time when America was under attack and the nation’s capitol had been burned. Then as now, we rallied to victory.
We will emerge triumphant from every crisis if we only remember the inspired words of Francis Scott Key in the fourth stanza of our national anthem: “Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just, and this by our motto – ‘In God is our trust.'”
Our great strength as a nation has always been in knowing that spiritual and moral virtue and fortitude are as important as economic and military might. Unlike the forces of evil we have defeated, we do not believe that might makes right. We believe that right makes might. If we hold fast to that principle, we will continue to defeat those who would destroy us.
As Francis Scott Key put it so eloquently, “And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave, O’re the land of the free and the home of the brave.”
E.W. Jackson, a Marine Corps Veteran and graduate of Harvard Law school was the Republican nominee for Lt. Governor of Virginia in 2013 and currently serves as President of STAND and Bishop of Exodus Faith Ministries in Chesapeake, VA.