By Jessica Ehrlich
Today marks the 12th anniversary of the September 11 attacks. That morning, I was working in my office in lower Manhattan and, like so many others, my experiences that day changed my life.
It was such a beautiful morning and the blue sky reminded me of home here in St. Petersburg. The next morning, I woke up feeling grateful to be alive, to be an American, and to have grown up in the safe and nurturing environment of Pinellas County. I wanted to do something that would ensure that America would continue to be a ‘shining beacon on a hill’ but even brighter and stronger than before.
It’s why I went to law school, why I’ve spent the last decade working in public policy, and why I am running for Congress today. We must constantly work towards the more perfect union envisioned by our founding fathers and not be torn apart by the polarizing and paralyzing partisanship so pervasive in politics today. We must ensure that our future is brighter and prove that acts of terrorism and fear cannot destroy the American dream.
We must continue to be led by the values that I grew up with here in St. Pete: respecting our seniors, educating our children for a brighter tomorrow, supporting the middle class with strong families and thriving small businesses, and building equal opportunities for all Americans regardless of race, religion, gender or orientation.
As we remember all that we lost on this day, let us also be inspired by the bravery of our first responders in lower Manhattan that day, the love we felt for our neighbors, and continue to show the world that we can and will be better, stronger, and more unified for all generations to come.