Royalty-free Image: Tribute in Light New York City

Just about everyone is reflecting today on the events that took place 11 years ago, when terrorists attacked the United States.

And we should remember the day when terror came to our doorstep.

Like you, I remember where I was that morning, just as I remember exactly where I was when we learned President John Kennedy had been killed, or when we learned the Challenger space shuttle had exploded just after liftoff.

The destruction of the World Trade Center, the attacks on the Pentagon and the crash of Flight 93 near Shanksville, Pennsylvania took the lives of so very many good and decent people, and forever devastated their families and those who loved them.

The attacks were followed by wars on two fronts, and the war in Iraq took the life of my cousin's stepson, Cpl. David Branning, USMC.

I only met David once, but he was the kind of young man you would want your son to grow up to be.

He had worked as a chef in Baltimore after high school and he joined the Marines to earn money for his education.

But he was killed in the assault on Fallujah and his family was devastated.

The only point to be made is this: Freedom is not free, and the defense of our freedom requires sacrifice on everyone's part, some more than others.

So today we pause and remember. And we will not, and we must not forget.