(Norwood Veterans Agent Ted Mulvehill says his own personal opinions on September 11)
None of us will ever forget what happened in America twelve years ago today. The lives of 3000 of our fellow citizens of the United States -and many other nations were snuffed out in the most horrific act of war ever committed against our nation.
Good and decent people died.
Twenty-three New York City police officers, 37 Port Authority Police Officers, and 343 Firefighters gave their lives on September 11, at New York's World Trade Center. They, too, gave all in service to their fellow citizens.
Today in our beloved town, and all across this great land, the bells ring out.
We have heard them before.
They call to us, and ask us to remember.
Later this morning, they will ring four times more, from Norwood Town Hall.
At 10:03 a.m. they will toll for those selfless and courageous passengers and crew of United Airlines Flight 93, who sacrificed themselves rather that permit another great tragedy to occur.
Before that 10 o’clock hour, at 8:46 a.m., the bells in Norwood Town
Hall, and all America will pause to remember American Airlines Flight
11, the hijacked airliner that crashed into the North Tower of the World
Trade Center in New York City.
The bells will ring again, at 9:03 a.m.,
to remember United Airlines Flight 175, the hijacked airliner that
crashed into the South Tower of the Trade Center.
The bells will ring again, at 9:37 a.m., to remember American Airlines Flight 77, the hijacked airliner that crashed into the Pentagon in Washington, DC. The loss of the 64 passengers and crew are included in the almost 200 active duty military and civilian Department of Defense personnel who perished in that cowardly act of terror.
Today, I offer these words to remember, to pay tribute to, and to honor those Americans who perished, and who wore our country's uniform that day.
Proud Americans, and Patriots all.
2001 Congress passed and President Bush signed Public Law No: 107-89,
designating today "Patriot Day." Those of us in Norwood's veteran
community, those in uniform today - indeed every American has felt it -
that shudder of joy so vast it can hardly be contained - that
heart-pounding pride at the sight of the American Flag.
It is a sense of belonging to something greater than oneself, of belonging to a great nation. It floods us as we listen to the National Anthem with tears-stinging, - throat-choking pride and triumph welling up within. And although describing any such great emotion is difficult, we embody this feeling in one word: Patriotism.
Patriotism is borne of our passion and love for our country. It makes us fear for her, defend her, sacrifice for her. It soars and bursts forth from us. When we are attacked, we all become patriots, therefore we unite and endure.
And endure we shall.
As a free people, we must never forget the fundamental rights of Freedom and Democracy we enjoy today. Our nation's military men and women are the guardians of these rights. They were on duty in 2001, when they were taken from us. They are on duty today - here in our midst. And they are on duty now, all over the world combating the forces of terror where they live and train.
Our Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines and Navy today stand as the most committed, courageous, and professional military force in the history of our world. And too many are paying the full price, making the ultimate sacrifice for us in this ongoing war on terror.
More proud Americans - Patriots - dying for our country.
We must remain committed to supporting these young men and women of our armed services who go into harm's way on our behalf. Write them; pray for them, and thank God they proudly serve America with valor, courage and honor.
As a free people we must NEVER FORGET that those innocent victims of the September attack on America did not die in vain.
As a free people we must stand united as a nation, and unswerving in our commitment to wipe out terror, and those who plot the murders of innocent civilians throughout the world.
The men and women serving in the United States Military today in the war against terrorism are our nation's newest veterans - they are America's best - and they will prevail on our behalf.(For further information, questions or assistance with any veterans’ benefits or services, please call the Town of Norwood Depatment of Veterans' Services, (781) 762-1240 extension 208, or visit us on the web at: www.ci.norwood.ma/veterans/.)