America is special place.
We are nation born as a result of the courage, character and perseverance of men and women who understood that this is blessed nation – a nation destined for greatness and a beacon for all those who wish and long for a life that is more hopeful and more prosperous.
These founders were grounded in the ultimate understanding that our rights and liberties and freedoms do not come from a king but instead come from our Creator.
Men and women in war and conflict have died for this nation – serving and fighting to protect what we all hold so dear – life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
As Americans go about their lives this weekend, they will do so with heavy hearts and a sustained sense of reverence for it has been ten years since our nation was shaken to its core.
All of us remember where we were that day when we saw the news of the horrific violence.
All of us know that on that day – our nation changed forever.
Our politics changed. Our society changed. The way we go about our daily business changed.
Precious lives were lost and families were torn apart.
Shock, sorrow and yes – even turmoil spread across our land.
How could such a tragedy happen to us?
Yet, 9/11 was also a time that our country truly came together.
Americans went looking for strength, courage, hope and comfort – they turned to our churches, communities and each other.
Sometimes in our darkest hour, we find the true light of nation shining brightest.
Whether it is a national tragedy or economic hardship –we persevere through the challenges that confront us because we are the greatest nation ever known.
Our nation was tested on 9/11 but 10 years later – there is still hope and reason to believe that tomorrow will be better than today.
Just as our nation was founded through courage, character and a hope for a better tomorrow – we are bouncing back and our nation will be stronger than ever.
It may sometimes seem difficult, but Americans are optimistic and our nation will endure.
We have our challenges and struggles and our union is not flawless.
But we will strive to do as our founders so eloquently advised – to work every day to make this a more perfect union.
Let us all remember those innocent lives that were lost 10 years ago today and remember the men and women in uniform that have paid the ultimate sacrifice since.
As Americans, we will cherish their memories and legacies always.
May God continue to bless the United States of America.
State Senator Paul McKinley (R-Chariton) is the Iowa Senate Republican Leader