As 9/11 became a memory, it also became a rallying point. In my opinion, there's no better or more succinct rallying point for Americans than our flag. Because our flag has been a symbol of our country's dogged determination, our resilience to those who would corrupt our country's values, and our strength in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.
In 1814, the British Navy bombarded Baltimore and Fort McHenry. American lawyer Francis Scott Key witnessed it first hand, and reveled at the sight of the Star Spangled Banner fluttering in the breeze the next morning. He was so inspired that he wrote a poem that was later converted to a song, which eventually became our National Anthem.
Another flag was carried into battle in the Civil War by the 54th Massachusetts, the first black unit in the US Army since the Revolution. The Civil War resulted in the end of slavery. Slavery was perhaps America's most shameful institution, but thousands of Americans fought and died to end it.
In 1945, a group of Marines and a Navy corpsman planted another flag on Iwo Jima, in one of the most iconic images in US history.
In 1969, Neil Armstrong planted a flag on the surface of The Moon.
And in 2001, when a group of stupid, psychotic, extremist assholes tried to dampen American spirit, tried to hurt us, tried to make us feel afraid, a group of New York firefighters stuck an American flag in the rubble, and reminded us all that we live in the best country in the world. And that we don't yield to pressure. We fight. And we win.