11th September 2021 marked twenty years since that fateful day when terrorists attacked the US. It also marked twenty three years since the terrorist attack on the American embassy in Nairobi on 7th August 1998.
In both countries, what was designed to instil fear instead evoked fortitude. What was intended to sow discord instead brewed inextricable bonds of unity. What was meant as an onslaught on democracy instead turned out to be fodder for its resilience.
In honor of the International Day of Democracy (15-09-2021) here are a few words from some of its staunchest defenders:
1. Great democracies have institutions that are constantly assessing and if necessary, adjusting the course of the country in the pursuit of consistency with our values and law, even under the most stressing conditions.”- Dr. Condoleezza Rice (No Higher Honor)
2. “In a democracy, a population should be able to look at its leaders and see a reflection of the full diversity of society.”- Julia Gillard (Women and Leadership)
3. We have a stake in one another, and that what binds us together is greater than what drives us apart, and that if enough people believe in the truth of that proposition and act on it, then we might not solve every problem but we can get something meaningful done.”- President Barack Obama (The Audacity of Hope)
4. “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”- Nelson Mandela (Long Walk to Freedom)
May the souls of the innocent and valiant individuals who we lost on both occasions continue to rest in peace. May their families find comfort. May we never forget their sacrifice and bravery!