Seventeen years ago today, I was coming up out of the Metro subway when I realized the world had changed.
I was an intern in Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher’s office, and as I arrived at work that day, I found Capitol Hill being evacuated because of the unfolding terrorist attack. Only later would I learn the extent of the losses in New York and at the Pentagon, and of the brave sacrifice made by passengers on Flight 93 who wouldn’t let their plane destroy the Capitol.
Like most Americans, I knew that what was happening would reverberate around the world and down through the decades. We had been attacked as never before; we were entering a new era.
But I also had a first-hand view of how things could stay the same, and how America already was handing al Qaeda and like-minded evildoers their defeat.
I saw lawmakers from both sides of the aisle gather on the Capitol steps, pledge unity in the face of our enemies, and sing “God Bless America,” some clasping hands, some with tears streaming down their faces. I saw America stand strong that day: one nation, under God, indivisible.