September 11, 2001 — I was up early to go to a breakfast that was to take place prior to the start of the annual veto session.

The television was on with the news that a plane had flown into one of the Trade Center towers. Having flown into New York area airports several times over the years, most recently the month before, I thought that strange that a plane could be that far off course.

Left for the breakfast. Upon my arrival or shortly just before, the second plane hit the other tower. At that point it was clear, this was no accident.

The remainder of the morning was spent participating in deliberations of what should we do, convene special session, go home to be with our families, etc.

I am proud to report that there were no Democrats or Republicans that day in the state capitol, just Americans who were trying to figure out what had just happened.

The collective and correct decision was to remain to do our duty.

We conducted the constitutionally mandated special session followed by an observance in the chamber singing God Bless America and of the events that had taken place so far that day.

At that time, nothing was known of the heroes of the day, the exact sacrifices that had been made and that would be made.

What was known was that America had been attacked by an as of yet unknown force.

And for some period of time, America was one again. Many of our differences had been laid aside, replaced with a singular focus on our country.

May we find ourselves as one America again. Hopefully not due to such an egregious event although it seems that is what it will take.

The resolution of those differences can only be achieved if there are principles on which to build upon and not politics or feelings.

Being “one” America doesn’t mean we agree on all things. In fact, history shows us that it has sometimes been because of the disagreements that we have become closer. It does mean that we agree to disagree and to work on resolving those differences.

May we never forget!

God Bless America, again!