This was the message shared with the school community at our annual Patriot Day Assembly. Please note the connection to the 7 Habits as we can learn from the amazing leaders who emerged amidst that tragedy.
On September 11, 2001, a bright autumn day was darkened by the worst attack on the American people in our history. Thousands of innocent men, women, and children perished when mighty towers collapsed in the heart of New York City and wreckage burned in Pennsylvania and at the Pentagon. They were family and friends, service members and first responders -- and the tragedy of their loss left pain that will never fade and scars our country will never forget.
More than a decade later, the world we live in is forever changed. But as we mark the anniversary of September 11, we remember what remains the same: our character as a Nation, our faith in one another, and our legacy as a country strengthened by service and selflessness. In the spirit that moved rescue workers and firefighters to charge into darkness and danger that September morning, we see the same sense of moral responsibility that drove countless Americans to give of themselves in the months that followed. We offered our neighbors a hand and lined up to give blood. Many helped our Nation rebuild and recover long after the dust had settled, donating and volunteering and helping survivors who had borne so much. We were united, and the outpouring of generosity reminded us that, through challenges that have spanned from acts of terrorism to natural disasters, we go forward together as one people.
As students and staff at McKinley, we have lots to learn from the leaders that were born that day. Out of this tragedy, ordinary people in all walks of life picked up the mantle of leadership and found that they wore it well. In the days, weeks, months and years that followed, we have seen countless examples of individuals living the 7 Habits as they helped our nation rebound and rebuild. People were proactive as they chose to not succumb to fear. People began with the end in mind as they knew our country could be rebuilt even stronger than before. Individuals put first things first as they tended to the needs of their neighbors before their own. Terrorists sought to tear our country apart, but they succeeded in creating new levels of Synergy as together, Americans across generations, races, religions and creeds stood united to say we are Proud to Be Americans.