15 YEARS LATER
Seal of the United States of America
Assemblyman Jay Obernolte reflects ____
Sunday September 11, 2016, marked the 15th Anniversary of the terrorist attacks that took place on September 11, 2001. Although many of us remember vividly that tragic day, our children do not. In fact, the class of students now entering high school were not even born when that terrible event took place.
But unfortunately, as the recent terrorist attack in San Bernardino on December 2nd last year reminds us, our battle against terrorism continues, and we will struggle to cope emotionally with it as we have struggled to cope with 9-11 .
In fighting this battle, a powerful lesson to us is offered by the Seal of the United States of America. Have you ever really looked at that seal? It is on the back of every dollar bill. In the middle of the seal is a majestic soaring eagle, and the eagle holds in his beak a ribbon on which is inscribed the motto of the United States of America: E Pluribus Unum, which in Latin means Out of Many, One. In the eagle’s left talon he holds a bundle of thirteen arrows. The symbolism of this bundle is significant. It says that one arrow individually might be easily broken, but a bundle of arrows together is immensely strong.
That is a powerful message! It seems that so many of the forces in our society today urge us to focus on the things that divide us and the differences between us: the differences in our appearance, the differences in our ethnicities, the differences in our political parties, the differences in our income, and the differences in our backgrounds. But if we focus instead on the things that unite us, we are immensely strong. And the idea that unites us is profound. It is a shared belief in the principles that our country was founded on: the principles of freedom and liberty.
A country united in defense of these principals is so strong that no event, no matter how terrible, can ever hope to destroy it.
It is an honor to represent you.