By Jason J. McGuire
As we gather here in Livingston County and across the nation on the solemn occasion of the 22nd anniversary of the tragic attack on America, we pause to reflect on the profound impact that day had on our country and, indeed, on our local community. We remember the heroism displayed on that day, express our gratitude to the members of our military and our first responders, and offer our prayers for the families who continue to bear the weight of loss from that fateful day.
On September 11, 2001, our country faced a challenge it had arguably not seen since the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. The 9/11 attacks were not just an assault on our nation’s landmarks but an affront to the very ideals that make America exceptional. Here in Livingston County, we felt the ripple effects of those tragic events. Our path, like the one of every other American who saw that grievous day, was forever altered.
However, amidst the chaos and devastation, we bore witness to acts of heroism that demonstrated the unwavering spirit of our fellow Americans. Our local first responders, firefighters, and police officers rushed to aid those in need, embodying the very essence of community and sacrifice. Ordinary citizens became extraordinary heroes, showing that in times of crisis, we stand strong together.
Conservative principles, which we hold dear here in Livingston County, emphasize the importance of individual liberty, limited government, and a strong national defense. In the aftermath of 9/11, these principles, though not always perfectly applied, guided our response as we recognized the need to protect our homeland and preserve the freedoms that define our way of life.
Today, we extend our heartfelt thanks to the members of our military who have stood steadfast in defending our nation. Livingston County has its own sons and daughters who have answered the call to serve. We are immensely proud of their sacrifice and dedication to our great nation.
Let us remember Nunda’s own William H. “Billy” Donovan. He was a celebrated U.S. Navy commander who was killed when American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon on the morning of September 11, 2001. Per the Livingston County News, “Donovan had been working at the Pentagon for a little more than a year in 2001, after transitioning from Navy pilot to a staff position with the Chief of Naval Operations, the latter being a less risky job for a sailor and a husband and father to three preteen children. After the September 11 attack, he was among those missing and presumed dead and was later buried in the Naval Academy Cemetery.”
As we pay tribute to those we lost on that fateful day, we offer our prayers and support to the families who still carry the burden of their absence. On this day, lift a prayer for Commander Donovan’s widow and his three children, as well as the rest of his family and all the families of those who lost a part of their heart on September 11, 2001.
We must also remember and thank our local first responders who serve as the backbone of our community, protecting and serving us every day. They are the embodiment of courage and selflessness.
Finally, though there have been many issues that have divided Americans in recent years, let us remember that here in Livingston County, we are bound by our shared values, our commitment to our neighbors, and our deep respect for the principles that make our nation strong. Let us draw together in unity, despite our diversity, and serve as a model to our fellow man.
On this 22nd anniversary of 9/11, we honor the memory of those we lost, express our gratitude to our military and first responders, and hold in our hearts the families who continue to grieve.
May God bless Livingston County, our great nation, and all those who work tirelessly to keep us safe.
Thank you for reading, and may we never forget.
Jason J. McGuire is a resident of Lima, NY and serves as chairman of the Livingston County Conservative Party.