Everyone remembers where they were on the morning of September 11, 2001. I was driving past the Pentagon when a hijacked plane slammed into the nerve center of America's military power. Much has happened in the 16 years since.
But we can never look back on 9/11 as something that is done. We look back at Pearl Harbor in remembrance because we won World War II.
The struggle that struck home on 9/11 continues. The list of attacks on major Western cities is too long to include here. Sadly, the jury is still out as to whether we are winning or losing this war against the radical Islamic supremacists.
In the 16 years since 9/11, Iran has emerged as a major power in the Middle East and is on the cusp of developing nuclear weapons. We have lived through the so-called "Arab Spring," which turned into a nightmare. We have seen the rise of ISIS and witnessed an ongoing genocide of Christians. There have been repeated attacks on our homeland.
For years we have implemented a bizarre immigration policy -- increasing immigration from majority-Muslim countries, even though everyone acknowledged there was no way to ensure that the "bad guys" didn't get in. Thankfully, we elected a president committed to ending this insanity. But he has been locked in a brutal battle with the courts trying to change that policy.
This morning at Ground Zero, the names of all 2,983 victims were read aloud. Six moments of silence were also observed: one for each moment when the Twin towers were hit, one for when each tower fell, one for the attack on the Pentagon and one for when United Flight 93 crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
President Trump observed a moment of silence at the White House and attended a ceremony at the Pentagon led by Secretary of Defense James Mattis. Vice President Mike Pence spoke at an observance ceremony in Shanksville.
President Trump also declared today "Patriot Day." He urged Americans to thank service members and first responders, and to "rededicate ourselves to the ideals that define our country and unite us as one."
The Recovery Begins
Hurricane Irma battered virtually the entire state of Florida yesterday and this morning. We continue to pray for our friends in the Sunshine State and those in surrounding states now being impacted by the remnants of Irma.
Throughout the day, state officials will be conducting damage assessments. Millions are without power and many gas stations are dry.
Two hurricanes in the past month have stressed the limits of preparedness but, as of now, it appears as though the Trump/Pence Administration has done as good a job as could be expected. Many commentators have given FEMA high marks on preparation and pre-positioning of supplies.
Florida's 8,000 National Guard troops are mobilized and responding. President Trump ordered several naval vessels, including the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, to assist with recovery efforts. Millions of Floridians are without power, and 11,000 utility workers from around the country are pouring into the state to get power lines back up.
President Trump brought the entire Cabinet to Camp David this weekend, where they directed relief efforts. Vice President Pence led the Cabinet in a prayer. The vice president visited FEMA headquarters yesterday to oversee the preparations.
You can tell things are going well because haters on the left continue attacking the people of Texas and Florida. Actress Jennifer Lawrence said that Harvey and Irma were "Mother Nature's rage and wrath" at two red states that voted for President Trump.
Of course, the government isn't doing everything. Churches and faith-based groups such as Samaritan's Purse are on the vanguard of the recovery effort. Individuals of goodwill are stepping up too -- residents of Alabama and Georgia fired up their grills, making food for weary Floridians who fled Irma's wrath.