There are a number of reasons I joined the Foreign Service. I had always wanted to serve the country, but as an out lesbian, serving in the military was not an option for me.
I thought my path was an an archaeologist, but when I watched the planes slam into the towers and sat with my classes trying to help my undergrads understand what was happening when none of us understood what was happening, I wondered if what I was doing mattered. Whether there was something else I should be doing.
Not long thereafter, my wife got the call to join the Service. And not long after that, I decided to take the test, not really believing I would make it in.
There were lots of reasons for it. I wanted us to be together. The work she was doing seemed interesting and meaningful and her colleagues seemed intelligent, competent and nice. Just the sort of folks you want to work with.
But a big part was also that I really wanted to serve.
And so I am.
I hope today you will keep in your thoughts and prayers those who died nine years ago, their loved ones who continue to struggle with their loss, and those who serve this country in the military and Foreign Service, many of us in no small part because of the events of that day.