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The 9/11 terrorist attacks happened 19 years ago on this day.

Today marks the 18th anniversary of the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. While we will never forget that day, each year its anniversary reminds us to reflect on the lives lost and the courage shown.

Many paid the ultimate price in an attempt to save their fellow Americans. Without hesitation, they did what their country asked them to do — what many of them felt was required. As true patriots, they did what they knew was right.

While very few of us will ever replicate the heroism displayed by 9/11 first responders, we can do our part to promote the patriotism they exemplify.

Ask yourself today, “Do my actions embody the same characteristics as those of the 9/11 first responders?”.

Do you act with bravery? Are you fearless in doing what is right? Or do you hesitate and falter when asked to do something that forces you to put others before yourself?

Do you act with resiliency? When the going gets tough, do you give up, or do you buckle down? Does your urgency match the intensity of the situation, or does it exceed it?

Do you act with selflessness? Are you compassionate not just when it’s easy, but when it’s hard? Do you value your fellow Americans?

Do you stand for America? The heroes who risked and lost their lives in the World Trade Center ran in knowing they weren’t saving perfect people in a perfect country. But they did it anyway.

They knew what America stands for: growth, improvement and the opportunity to be better — to get it right, no matter how many tries it takes. 

Whatever negative things you think America stands for, put them aside today. Today, stand for resilience, for bravery and for selflessness. Today, stand for the first responders who gave everything.

Ask yourself if your actions measure up to theirs. They probably won’t even come close. But if we all act a little more like the 9/11 first responders, we can realize the America they died protecting. 

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