Franklin Delano Roosevelt, or one of his speechwriters, had it right -
September 11, 2001 is a day that will indeed live in infamy.
It was the day that we average Americans arrived at the stark realization that there existed people in the world who harbored so much hatred for us and our way of life that they would gladly sacrifice their own lives to take as many of us with them as possible. It was, and still is, unsettling to understand that we are, now and forever, targets only because we are who we are, and that by simply existing, we represent some sort of danger to others in this world who do not share our philosophy.
It is difficult for us to comprehend what type of mindset could encompass suicide for the sake of murder, what twisted, evil outlook could impel someone to hijack airplanes and transform them into directed IEDs. If we are to triumph, however, over barbarians who consider suicide/murder to be an honorable method of destroying their enemies, we must make the effort.
At 8:46 am on the morning of 9/11/2001, shock and horror struck the entire nation as an event that only a few had ever imagined could happen played out before our unbelieving eyes. Among the chaotic images of confusion that were thrust through the television screen into our homes, we were shown scenes of heroism unparalleled, as first responders performed their duties in the face of unimagined tragedy.
We would like to pay tribute to one of those wonderful, amazing Americans who refused to quail in the face of terror, who unselfishly relinquished his life in his unstinting and dedicated efforts to offer succor to the victims of unspeakable tragedy. He, along with the others who perished that day, demonstrated the capacity of our fellow citizens to rise to occasions that would leave others of lesser fortitude quaking and helpless.
This is a photograph of Walter E. Weaver of Centereach, New York, whom we have chosen to sponsor for no better reason than that he and I both share a first name and last initial, and a love of the outdoors. He was an officer in the Emergency Services Unit of the New York Police Department, and he died in the attack that terrible day, performing his duty as did so many others. We didn't know you, Mr. Weaver, but had we met we are sure that we would have liked you. We pray that your family is well and that you are watching over them.
We will never forget the callousness. We will always remember the heroism.