The tragedies that unfolded in New York, Virginia, and Pennsylvania on September 11th took the lives of nearly 3000 Americans. These men, women and children lost their lives because they lived in a country where toleration, freedom, and compassion are guiding principles. Many of those lost were brave first-responders who entered burning buildings, selflessly placing the interest of strangers above their own. All those who were killed that day left voids in the hearts of their families and communities. But their memory and spirit continue to endure in us all, and reinforce our commitment to the freedoms and ideas for which they died.