On September 11, 2021 Americans will observe the 20th Anniversary of the coordinated terrorist attacks on our nation that devastated parts of New York City, damaged the Pentagon, took the lives of the passengers and crew members of United Airlines Flight 93 and changed the course of our nation’s history.
In commemoration of this event, Florida Democratic Party Chairman Manny Diaz issued the following statement:
“There are only a handful of historical events during anyone’s lifetime that will forever after be considered to have irrevocably changed the world. Anyone who was alive on September 11th, 2001 knows that the terrorist attacks that took place on that day constitute exactly that kind of event.
“The scale of the tragedy was unimaginable, extending from the foreign policy ramifications of this wanton act of aggression to the devastating effects suffered by so many everyday citizens who either lost their lives or those of loved ones during the course of that day. Many of our nation’s brave first responders still suffer from the damaging health effects caused by the difficult and risky tasks they were called upon to perform on 9/11 and its aftermath. For me it was, and still is, truly overwhelming to think about.
“At the time of the attacks, I was campaigning to become the Mayor of Miami. My immediate reaction was to temporarily suspend my campaign. Advertising, canvassing and speeches seemed wholly inappropriate in the middle of such a traumatic period of time in our nation’s history. That pause, though, also gave me the opportunity to deeply reflect on the trust I was asking the people of the city to place in me. Seeing the extraordinary demands that this frightening and chaotic situation placed on so many mayors across the country really brought home the scale of the responsibility and this realization would make me a better public servant. Months later, along with over 200 9/11 era mayors from across the U.S., I would visit ground zero and pay my respects to the victims, their families, our first responders and the entire New York community. I will never forget the impact that experience had on me.
“Along with the sadness that this commemoration elicits for all of us, it is important to remember the heartening things we found out about ourselves in the aftermath of this catastrophe. In the midst of so many challenges and so much grief, something beautiful began to emerge, a spirit of kindness, unity and solidarity with other Americans that we knew existed beneath the surface but had remained dormant and out of sight for many years. In this current age of increasing polarization and heated discourse, when it can be so easy to feel physically and emotionally isolated, may this year’s 9/11 events remind us of the humanity that binds every one of us as citizens of the United States, of our fundamental goodness as a people and of our pride in our country and what it stands for.
“We will never forget. We must never forget.”