Today we honor the 343 firefighters who died on September 11, 2001 with a workout called ‘343.’ The workout will begin with a minute of silence. Here is what will be going through my mind during a minute of silence—what will be on yours?

I remember a time, back when I was 17 years old and anxiously waiting to leave home to serve in the Army, when our nation was attacked. It was a time of fear, but it was also a time of cohesiveness and unity, and I remember, as do many others at that time, being filled with a sense of patriotic duty.

16 years later, our nation couldn’t feel more different. Politics and religion are making the communities we live in more and more divided with each passing year. Does it take being attacked as a nation to feel a sense of pride and belonging as an American anymore?

Let us take a moment to honor and remember all who were murdered by enemies of our country 16 years ago today, and to the men and women who died in the line of duty to protect and save the citizens of this great nation who were attacked.

Whatever we may say about our state of affairs in the US, I still firmly believe it is the greatest nation in the world and am proud to wear the stars and stripes. I am an American. WE are Americans.

Never forget.

RLTW <1>

—Coach Phil