As I sit down to write this message, my heart is heavy with the weight of the memories and emotions that come flooding back each year on this solemn date, September 11th. It’s a day that forever changed the course of our nation and our lives.

Twenty-two years ago, I was a young soldier in basic training, embarking on a journey of service to my country.

Little did I know that our world would be forever altered on that fateful morning. The events of September 11, 2001, would shape the trajectory of my life and the lives of countless others.

I vividly remember the shock and disbelief that swept through the ranks as we learned of the attacks. Our sense of duty and commitment to protect our nation took on new meaning that day. It was a stark reminder of the fragility of freedom and the importance of unity in times of crisis.

Throughout my military service and deployments, the memory of 9/11 remained a constant backdrop. It fueled my passion for community service and mentoring the next generation, whether it was coaching youth football or guiding young soldiers under my command.

In the aftermath of my deployment to Afghanistan, I received the Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award for my commitment to building a stronger nation through volunteer service. It was a humbling recognition of my dedication to the ideals that make our country great.

However, the transition to civilian life was far from easy, but it deepened my resolve to advocate for better resources and services for veterans, ensuring that those who’ve served receive the support they deserve.

As we pause to remember the tragedy of 9/11, let us also honor the heroes who emerged that day—the first responders, the military personnel, and the ordinary citizens who displayed extraordinary courage and unity. Their sacrifices and selflessness serve as a testament to the strength of the American spirit.

Today, I ask you to join me in reflecting on the events of 9/11, paying tribute to the lives lost, and celebrating the resilience of our nation. Let us reaffirm our commitment to unity, service, and the enduring values that define America.

Thank you for taking a moment to remember and honor this important day with me.

In Remembrance,
Stephen Miller-Pitts