The attacks of 9/11 were attacks on the idea of America not only on our people and soil.
Each of us has our own story about where we were and what we were doing when we learned of the attacks, and what it meant to us. For me, the attacks were a wake up call. I realized that my children’s future depended on America prevailing over adversaries who have a dark and regressive view of human freedom and dignity … those who do not believe that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are unalienable rights. My 9/11 wake up call motivated me to start Spirit of America.
I’ve been in the field in Eastern Europe for the last 9 days, meeting with US troops and diplomats to see how Spirit of America can help them defend our values and our friends, partners and allies in the region.
In one town in Serbia, a local doctor told me that several years ago he heard the commander of US Army Europe, Lt. General Ben Hodges, give a talk where he said America is not perfect, our history is not perfect, we’ve made mistakes … but what we believe is perfect. The doctor was incredibly moved by what General Hodges said. He’ll never forget it.
Hearing that choked me up. It made me so proud that we have fellow Americans out in the world, far from the public eye, as champions for the very best of who we are. That is an essential part of how we will prevail and it is very hopeful.
Every day but especially today, all of us at Spirit of America would like to remember and thank those who have served and sacrificed – military and civilian – to protect life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and to advance America as a force for good.
All the best,
Jim Hake and the team at Spirit of America
ps: after his retirement from the Army, General Hodges joined Spirit of America’s Advisory Board.