As our state and nation approaches this emotional milestone of the September 11th attacks, my hope is that we as Americans gain a deeper understanding of our kinship with others suffering from ongoing acts of terrorism and political violence around the world. Almost every day people in places like Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iraq are living the horrors of their own 9/11s.
And, our military personnel continue to serve in extremely precarious environments in the Middle East and South Asia. We as a nation never asked to become part of this unenviable global fraternity, but it’s our responsibility to not let our emotions of what terrorism does to us and our global neighbors fade away.
Remember that my brother David, and the other 9/11 victims in New York City, Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania, spanned not only the American cultural, religious and political spectrum, but international as well.
As we try to dig ourselves out of the broken and divisive political system we are currently mired in, Americans should remember that our common grief and resolve to overcome the setback of 9/11 is the type of thing that should unite us as a nation, and not the hollow and arrogant partisanship we see all around us.
Editor’s Note: Andrew Rice is Democratic floor leader in the Oklahoma state Senate. His brother was killed in the attack on the Twin Towers in New York City. Sen. Rice has announced he will not be doing print, TV radio or other news media interviews concerning the tenth anniversary of 9/11.