In February 2002 I was invited by one of my interns from Stanford University to a small dinner party of Stanford alum. What I didn’t realize was that the National Security Advisor, Condoleezza Rice was also coming to dinner.
There were many questions that night for Condi, but there was one question and answer I will never forget.
“What was your most emotional experience from 9/11?”
“It actually happened several days after 9/11 at the National Cathedral. As I walked into the cathedral for the memorial ceremony, I still remember the feelings in my heart: sadness for families who had lost loved ones, fear for what tomorrow might bring, and doubt about my ability to serve the President at this time of national crisis. I don’t remember much about the ceremony that day, but I do remember the ending. We all stood and sang the Battle Hymn of the Republic. As we sang, you could feel the entire mood change within the cathedral. When I walked out, I left my sadness, fear, and doubt behind. I walked out with a mission…a mission to make America safe and secure.”