"Where were you when the world stopped turning that September day?
Out in the yard with your wife and children, workin' on some stage in LA?
Did you stand there in shock at the sight of that black smoke rising against that blue sky?
Did you shout out in anger and fear for your neighbor or did you just sit down and cry?

Did you weep for the children who lost their dear loved ones or pray for the ones who don't know?
Did you rejoice for the people who walked from the rubble and sob for the ones left below?
Did you burst out in pride for the red, white, and blue and the heroes who died just doing what they do?
Did you look up to Heaven for some kind of answer, and look at yourself and what really matters?

I'm just a singer of simple songs, I'm not a real political man
I watch CNN but I'm not sure I could tell you the difference in Iraq and Iran
But I know Jesus and I talk to God and I remember this from when I was young
Faith, hope and love are some good things He gave us
And the greatest is love...

Where were you when the world stopped turning, on that September day?"  --Alan Jackson

I was eight years old when 9/11 happened and changed the world's history. I remember that day in snapshots: small moments and memories that seem to be ingrained in my mind forever, like a camera roll. 

I remember the TV turned to the news and my mom crying. She wondered whether or not to send us to school. I saw smoke, two towers, and a lot of confusion. I didn't quite understand what was going on.

I remember going to school. Mrs. Smith was wearing a yellow shirt and olive green pants. She was also crying. I felt sad, but didn't really know why.

I remember Mr. Horner, the principal, telling us all over the intercom what had happened. When he was finished, Mrs. Smith cleared up any confusion we were feeling. I felt a reverent dread come over me. Reverence for the people who had died, and their families. Dread for what might happen in the future, and what had already happened.

I remember standing up to recite the Pledge of Allegiance and really feeling the power of the words for the first time that I could remember. 

I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. 

In that moment, in my little eight-year-old mind, I felt so proud to be an American. I felt honor and respect and love for my country that represents so much. I felt, in the words of the song that we all know so well, that I would "proudly stand up next to you, and defend Her still today, 'cause there ain't no doubt I love this land. God bless the USA!" 

We are still one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. What makes it so special, I’m convinced, is the love that we have in our hearts for freedom, bravery, patriotism, loyalty, and every other good thing that we stand for. . . in America, and across the world.

Thank you to the men and women who died, and still die, fighting for our freedoms.

9/11 -- I will never forget.