September 11, 2021
By Jon Riches
Today marks twenty years since America came under attack by violent extremists opposed to our values and way of life. Time stood still for those who experienced that fateful day, watching as 2,977 of our fellow citizens lost their lives—innocent people at work or traveling, and brave first responders marching up staircases from which they would never descend. For all of the men and women who lost their lives on September 11, 2001, we will never forget.
Nor will we forget those who bravely took up the cause of freedom to battle the forces of evil who perpetrated or aided in this attack and other acts of terrorism.
Watching Afghanistan fall to the same rulers who gave sanctuary to those who planned the 9/11 attacks has caused outrage and pain for many Americans, including those who sacrificed so much to remove a barbarous regime. But the sacrifice of those who served in Afghanistan and in the broader War on Terrorism was not in vain.
For generations, many of the finest Americans have fought against evil—fascism, Communism, and for the 9/11 generation, terrorism. It is because of these men and women—and the many others who defend the principles of liberty—that President Ronald Reagan’s admonition that “freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction” will not be realized in this generation, or the next.
Today, we remember those who lost their lives on 9/11. And my Goldwater Institute colleagues and I pledge to honor those who fought—and continue to fight—against the forces of evil that threaten our lives and liberty.
Jon Riches is the Director of National Litigation at the Goldwater Institute and a Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve.