In 1776, our founding fathers declared that all men are endowed with certain unalienable rights; life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; and that it is the right of the people to alter or abolish any government that becomes destructive of these ends. Our ancestors valiantly fought great wars and won. It all seems so long ago. We live in a free country today because of their courageous efforts to preserve these freedoms. They fought the wars and we now benefit from their efforts. We thought the struggle was over. Sure, we honor their sacrifices, and we have a national holiday to remember them, but we did not realize that the sacrifice must continue. September 11 showed us that conflicts will take new shapes and new heroes will be needed to wage the war, but our struggles to maintain these freedoms will never end.
Our country's history is filled with struggles for maintaining these rights; the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, World Wars I and II, the Korean War, the War in Vietnam, and the Gulf War. In our past struggles, we demonstrated the force of the United States through the wisdom of our military leaders, and the strength of our mighty armies. We were technologically superior and our military showed this superiority time and time again. We thought that maintaining our superiority would take care of future threats. We thought that no one would ever challenge us on our own soil, in our business offices, and our commercial air flights. No one would dare attack our daily lives.
On September 11, 2001, a handful of terrorists challenged our pursuit of life and liberty. They were not a mighty army invading us by land and sea. They were simply a few men who bought commercial airline tickets with a plan to disrupt our way of life, to send us a wake-up call that our freedom will always be challenged. Who would have thought our fight for freedom would evolve to a few men on a commercial air flight standing up to