It’s been 21 years since the worst terrorist attack in our Nation’s history. On this day of reflection, I hope you’ll join me in pausing for a moment of reflection and prayer for the families who lost loved ones on that horrific day.
I am reminded daily of my friend Michael Patrick LaForte, with whom I served in the Marine Corps at Camp Pendleton. Mike was celebrating his 39th birthday on September 11, 2001. Instead of following his tradition and taking the day off to be with his wife and two young children, he was at work on the 104th floor of the north tower.
Nearly 3,000 people were killed that day, including Mike. And in the dark days that followed, one bright light shone through the smoke of destruction – the American spirit of unity, resilience and compassion.
That American spirit lives on today through the Scholarship Foundation, and your enduring support empowers us to honor Marines by educating their children. I am personally proud that my friend’s youngest son, Michael Patrick LaForte, Jr., is one of our scholarships recipients and is studying statistics and economics at Syracuse University, the same school his father graduated from in 1984.
Today is undoubtedly a day of deep sadness and loss. It’s also a day to be inspired by the many acts of kindness and public service that helped lift our Nation out of an incredibly difficult time and restore hope for a more prosperous future.
Lieutenant Colonel Ted Probert USMC (Ret.)
President and CEO
Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation