My Point of View: America is still the greatest nation on the face of the earth

Published 8:45 pm Tuesday, September 13, 2022

My Point of View by Aaron Farris

This past Monday commemorated the 21st anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on our country. As someone who was born less than a year after the 9/11 attacks took place, I don’t have memories of where I was on that dark day, what thoughts were running through my head or the feeling of panic and uncertainty that so many others felt as they watched the attack on America unfold on live TV.

Aaron Farris

The fact that I wasn’t alive to witness the attacks isn’t an excuse to not remember and honor those who lost their lives that day, those who continue fighting to make sure something like it never happens again, and the promise of so many to never forget what happened to America that day. It is incumbent upon those of us born after 9/11 to carry the torch of that promise and cherish the lives of all that were lost.

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It’s been very disheartening to hear from certain leaders in our own government the past few years about how “evil” America is and hear the 9/11 attacks referred to as a day “some people did something.”

If you could choose anywhere in the world to grow up and raise a family, the United States is the place. We enjoy freedoms in America that others don’t have in all areas of the world such as freedom of religion, freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. America is the land of opportunity where regardless of your background and factors beyond your control, if you work hard, persevere and have an appetite for success, you can make your dreams come true.

Even though I wasn’t alive for the attacks, I see in today’s world the repercussions both home and abroad of what these attacks did to us as a country. As one of the people who had to learn about the attacks in a classroom every year, the images that have become so well known to the world are what I think of when I think about 9/11 — the image of President Bush being told by Andy Card about the attacks, the photo of Marcy Borders, or as she’s more commonly known, the “dust lady,” and so many more. I think about those stuck in the towers as the flames climbed higher and higher who desperately tried to reach their family members and say their final goodbyes, and I think about the brave passengers aboard Flight 93, and the impossible decision they made that day to sacrifice their lives to save the lives of countless others.

At my 2021 high school graduation, I was the student commencement speaker. During my speech, I referred to my class as “the generation born in the aftermath of 9/11, and to graduate at the conclusion of a pandemic.” I concluded my speech with “thank you, God bless you, and God bless the United States of America, the greatest nation on the face of the earth.” Sure, America isn’t perfect; nothing is. Just because a baseball team wins the World Series doesn’t mean every player or every aspect of the team is perfect. We always have room to improve, and that’s part of the American dream — to do the best you can and always try to do better. What I disagree with is people saying America is awful and evil, and the constant threats to leave the country when someone they don’t like is elected president. America is the greatest country on the face of the earth, and everyone should be incredibly grateful for the freedoms and luxuries we enjoy in America, and remember all that’s been sacrificed by so many people to get us to this point.

I hope everyone took a moment on Monday to pause, think about what they were doing in that very second and take a minute to remember all those we lost on that day. Think about how different of a place we would be in right now if so many courageous Americans hadn’t stepped up to the plate to get our country through it all. 

The way Americans came together in the aftermath of the attacks to work together to rebuild a metropolis and care for the families and friends of those who lost loved ones makes one thing clear. Even on our worst day, America is still the greatest nation on the face of the earth. We are still that beacon of freedom in the world; that shining city on a hill. Never forget that.

Aaron Farris is the vice chairman of the Freeborn County Republican Party and chairman of the Minnesota 1st Congressional District Republican Party.