It was ten years ago today that the Twin Towers went down. And I still remember it like it was yesterday. My mind immediately went to a person already overseas serving in the military, my brother Albert Mendoza.

He was on the USS Peleliu traveling on a peacekeeping mission and their ship arrived in November delivering him and the other first U.S. Marines to Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. I was only in the 6th grade, first comprehending the meaning of war and a brand new word, terrorism. He has served 3 tours in the Middle East fighting for us and protecting all Americans. I will always be so proud of my brother and everything that he has done for our country. Not to mention he’s a rocker and a bad ass fighter jet pilot as well. This Marine Corps Major is kind of a big deal.

When you’re thinking of what happened on this day ten years ago, remember the sacrifices that were made. The people who died far too soon, the ordinary people who were moved to do extraordinary things, the rescuers who fought endlessly to save the innocents, and the military men and women who fight everyday to protect our freedoms. Never forget what this country stands for. We are America, the land of the free. And no matter what anyone tries to do to us, we will always fight for the American dream. Because we’re Americans, we’re stubborn and that’s what we do.