We all have felt the tragedy of the September 11th attack on America, some to a greater degree than others, but nonetheless, all of our lives have been altered. I’m proud to be a part of this community, whose leaders and citizens have responded calmly, with a generous and truly patriotic spirit. I’m equally proud of my staff, as they maintained themselves to the highest degree of professionalism amidst this strange and frightening time.
Just three days after the attack, I had the privilege of being a part of the Vietnam Wall Experience, 2001, as the replica of the Vietnam Wall Memorial traveled to Fort Wayne. I was terribly moved as I saw the family and friends of deceased Vietnam soldiers find their loved ones names. It was particularly poignant witnessing the surviving veterans search for their fallen comrades. Despite the flowing emotions of loss and grief, the spirit of patriotism remained high.
It could be that our sudden realization of our own vulnerability, and our renewed sense of patriotism and unity have given us a deeper appreciation for those who have lost their lives, and who continue to risk their lives, for the sake of the American citizens and values. The phrase, ‘gone but not forgotten’ rings loud and true today, for the Vietnam veterans as well as the innocent lives lost recently. My prayers are with each and every one of their families.
Matthew P. Schomburg, Trustee