On this day, this hallowed day of terror, unity and triumph, we should remember, we must remember that there are those in this fallen world that would gladly kill us, each and every one, for no reason other than that we are American.
It is this remembrance, this understanding that must reunite us, and drive us on to preserve Mankind’s last, best hope. It is our shared destiny as Americans that will lead the world and establish peace, just as President Trump is establishing peace between adversaries that no one imagined could put aside ancient hatreds to embrace a better world for their children.
There is no white privilege, there is only American privilege, and it is not a privilege unearned because of the skin color of the majority of Americans. Being an American goes far more deeply. All Americans, born here or lawfully naturalized, have won the lottery of life. They are inheritors of the sacrifices, the energy, the determination, the brilliance of every American that came before them, that gave the last full measure of devotion that they might be born, give their contribution to the great work began by our Founders, and in their turn, return home to the Father of all.
This is the privilege, the sacred honor, the never ending quest to advance mankind, to vanquish disease, to raise all out of poverty, addiction and misery, that is the legacy of all Americans—if they are willing to accept it, if they are willing to put aside narcissism, unreasoning hatred, identity politics, the insane quest for a utopia that has never existed and never will exist, and the lust for transient political power. No human failing is so destructive as the urge to perfect mankind, to seize by force the role of God without God’s wisdom, power and majesty.
It was this urge that killed nearly 3000 Americans on 9-11. It is this urge that kills countless human beings around the world today, and that pits American against American in our cities, on our streets, and in our restaurants. It is this urge that cries: “black lives matter,” while denying the inestimable value of all lives. It is this urge that shuts down our national economy, that wastes American lives, all for transient, pathetic political power.
On this day, this 19th anniversary of 9-11, let us revel in the priceless privilege of being American, of being a part of the most noble and successful political experiment in history. Let us see every citizen not as black, white, Hispanic, gay, lesbian, male or female, but as American.
Let us remember the sacrifice of the passengers and crew of Flight 93, who gave that last, full measure of devotion that other Americans might live. Let us remember the warriors of our military of all races, male and female, who answered the call of liberty and gave their lives against our true enemies, enemies that still plot and wait their chance to kill all Americans, simply because they are Americans, because they are free women and men, and because tyranny does not reign over their minds and hearts.
Finally, let us understand, once and for all, that perfection is unattainable in this fallen world. We will never have perfect equality, perfect justice or perfect peace. Liberty means we all have choices, and those choices sometimes lead to crime, poverty, addiction, insanity and hatred. But liberty also leads to the greatest, most free, most prosperous, most just and most advanced nation the world has ever produced.
We are not perfect, but no nation, no people have ever come so far toward perfection, and there is much yet to do. Will we honor the sacrifice of so many and continue our quest for freedom, equality and justice for all, or will we fall into the hatred and tyranny that has engulfed so much of the rest of the world, of mankind? Will we once again embrace American constitutionalism, or fall into the true, all-consuming darkness of socialism and communism, the ideologies that have murdered hundreds of millions, enslaved more, the ideologies that have filled mass graves still discovered in the countries that suffered and died under their depredations?
Let this anniversary of 9-11, and the sacrifices of the citizens, first responders, warriors, the passengers of airliners thrown together by fate, inspire a rebirth of liberty, of pride in being American, a pride that overcomes gender, race, faction and hatred, a pride and privilege that ensure, as Abraham Lincoln said, that government of the people, by the people and for the people, shall not perish from this Earth.
As free men and women, it’s our legacy, and our choice. May God touch the hearts and minds of all Americans and let us choose wisely.