Dear Loyal American,

I remember where I was, what I was doing and what went through my mind that day. I remember most, that it didn’t register, it didn’t sink in till later that week. For those of you who played football or contact high school sports, you know that you eat sleep and breathe it. I remember lying on my back in the Georgia heat sweating in my pads looking up at the sky and seeing no planes flying, no exhaust trails… I remember thinking That with this one event, football didn’t inspire, it didn’t motivate, it just didn’t mean as much to me. I realized in that moment that there were people working, training, fighting for something more than points on a scoreboard. They were fighting for life, for me.
For me 9/11 was a reason, a purpose. In the dust and rumble of tragedy came a uniting spirit of survival- unparalleled in history since Pearl Harbor. It was more than an act of war, it was an awakening for all the free world.
I hear the half hearted, hind sighted, relentless critiques on the politicians, their decisions and the war that followed. Yet I never hear criticism praise or even mention of what came from them. With a broken heart and a resilient spirit we took the fight to an evil enemy. We showed the world that we weren’t so benevolent and malignant that righteous retaliation was no longer a page in the playbook for defending American Freedom.

We banded together, we found patriotism where it had been decades forgotten. We found pride in ourselves and our differences where perhaps ignorance and fear had lived stagnant for too long. I, a small town boy from Georgia raised my right hand beside, served with and learned to love Americans of all race, religion and upbringing. We were no longer New York or LA, Black or white, rich or poor, we were all American. We’ve lost a little bit of that in recent years, like any beacon of hope and purpose, time smolders the flame. I believe it isn’t lost, and I don’t believe only tragedy sparks such a burning desire to love and serve.
That’s why Boot Campaign exists. Our purpose, our mission, to rub the sticks together and keep warm that desire and feeling in all of us to honor and appreciate this country, what it stands for, and most importantly those men and women who fight to protect and keep it that way.
People think back on the towers, the pentagon, the lives lost in combat and rightfully so. But I’m a firm believer in the fact that life is for the living, and what’s most important is that you, me, all of us celebrating those lives lost-are SURVIORS.
We’ve seen through the bad times and disparity and realized the amazing life this country, and it defenders, provides. We simply saw something worth fighting for. In the sand box over seas, and here at the ballot box. We care, we believe and we act! When I remember 9/11 I tell myself one thing, “get up, get over it and get going, we all get knocked down, but I’m going to be one of those who come back stronger and more determined than ever.
When history writes the story of our generation, in the aftermath of 9/11/01 I believe it will be a success story. A story of triumph and victory in the face of certain and evil adversity. Because each and everyone of you and apart of an American Generation who has survived and thrived in an unprecedented time of adversity and attack against what we believe in. You are the who AND the why this County is.