Gov. Kristi Noem

This past week started with a holiday celebrating America’s workers and ended with the commemoration of 9/11, one of the most tragic days in American history. During weeks like these, it’s important to look back at our history and cherish the things that make America special.

Labor Day is a celebration of all the workers, both in America’s past and present, who have made our country the best the world has ever known. But it shouldn’t go unsaid that our economic strength is only possible because of the respect for the freedoms that have driven our growth over these past 244 years.

Thanks to America’s free market, workers in this country are blessed with endless opportunity to find the right job to provide for themselves and their loved-ones. Businesses are free to grow and innovate, which creates more jobs and more opportunities for the workers that they employ. It’s a beautiful system, but it’s one that’s under attack today.

In our country today, we’re seeing a return of the philosophies and ideas that not only destroyed so many nations’ economies worldwide over the past century, but also so many people’s lives. Many politicians campaign on the promises of free health care, free college, and other supposedly free handouts. The hardworking people of South Dakota know there is no such thing as a free lunch. And any attempt to get us there would inevitably destroy our most important ideal, freedom.

We must continue to educate the next generation about the American Dream and all the opportunity that is possible because of it. We also need to remind them of the countless brave men and women who have fought to defend our great nation. September 11th is a tremendous opportunity to do just that.

We all remember where we were when the first hijacked plane crashed into the World Trade Center nineteen years ago. I was on my farm in Hamlin County. That day, America came under attack because certain radical extremists despised the ideals our nation embodies and fights for.

That day is etched in America’s memory not just because of the horror but because of the actions of those who died to save so many more. Whether at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, or aboard Flight 93, men and women didn’t shy away from the call to be courageous. We must never forget their tremendous sacrifice.

My hope is that every American remembers the spectacular unity that linked every American, regardless of race, creed, or political persuasion, in the aftermath of the 9/11 attack. America continues to face challenges, some even stemming from that fateful day. But America is better equipped to face these challenges if we work together, as one people, and if we remember the importance of the freedoms that make America so special.

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