[blue]Glock918 asked that I post this for him here. It is a speech he gave to his community last night. Well said Art.[/blue]
Good evening everyone, it is an honor to talk to you today and be at this event. My name is Officer Art McFadden, and I am with the Franklin Police Department. I believe one of the reasons I was asked to speak to you today was because of where I am from. I was born in New York City, and raised close by in New Jersey, about 900 miles from here. My family still lives there, along with many of my friends. My father works in New York City, near what we now call Ground Zero and he witnessed the attack on Sept. 11th, 2001 when two planes flew into the World Trade Center Twin Towers. I personally spent the day trying to track down my father and the rest of my family while I was working. Thankfully, they were all ok.
Last week my wife and I went to New York and saw a very special friend, of mine, Ray. He too, is a Police Officer, just like me, but he works for a very famous Police Department, the NYPD. He took us to Ground Zero and he told us about the events that day, and how they have changed his life and his fellow Officers lives. He told us about the chocking dust that he kept swallowing while trying to find people who needed help, and the long hours that he worked. Sleep was replaced with the drive to find victims. Many lives were lost one year ago when we were attacked.
I asked him how they were able to deal with all that was going on, and loosing his own friends. The underlying lesson he taught me was basically that they did not have a choice. We all must go on and become stronger than ever. Strength must be our companion.
You see, there are very evil people that tried to change the way we live. They wanted make us afraid to go on the way we had, as Americans. These evil people wanted us to be afraid from now on. They FAILED. This country is the greatest in the world. This country has had many events that have been recorded in history and will never be forgotten and September the 11th is now one of them.
People in many other countries can only dream of having the freedom we know here in America. We must remember that there are many people to thank for making our country the land of the free – the greatest country on earth. Our freedom has not come easily. We must always remember our military men and women who have fought and continue to fight for our country. They sacrifice daily. While we are eating at McDonald’s with our family, there are military men and women lying in holes in the middle of a dessert eating prepackaged food that doesn’t taste very good. They’re willing to give up the frills to protect our country.
We must find ways to let them know how much they are appreciated. We must lend support to our president, George W. Bush, and his staff. They are making many important decisions on a daily basis that will affect our future. Being president of the United States is an extremely difficult job and President Bush needs our support in order to do his job effectively.
One way we can show our support and appreciation to President Bush, our military, our police officers, our fire fighters and the many families who lost loved ones on September 11th, 2001 is to proudly fly the American Flag. Whenever we say the pledge, we need to focus on the flag and speak from the heart.
On this day one year ago, our country was shaken to its very core. I gladly stand before you today after just returning from New York City and say WE ARE AMERICA, WE ARE STRONG AND WE WILL PREVAIL!
Frances Scott Key was a soldier who fought for the United States Military. After a long night of battle, he was not sure who had conquered whom. Much to his delight as the sun began to rise over the horizon he witnessed a beautiful site. The American Flag continued to fly and the United States had prevailed. He was so overcome with emotion he sat down on his ship and wrote what we now know as The Star Spangled Banner – our national anthem.
One year after the attacks on New York City and Washington D.C., and the tragedy in Pennsylvania, our flag continues to fly and always will.
As we get older, younger people will ask us about 9/11. Children will remember what adults had told them. We will remember where we were and what we were doing and what we watched on Television. You will also remember today, and that one-year later we remember those who were lost or hurt, and the heroes that tried to help them.
But the most important thing you will remember will be that children went back to school and still played outside, we all went back to work, still laughed with our friends, and the American flag still flew proudly. We went on.
In the future, we will continue to observe Patriot Day, and everything it means to each of us. Remember what it represents, freedom, and our way of life, and should not only be recognized one day a year, but each day.
God bless you and God Bless America.