9/11 Remembered

At a time in out history when we are facing economic challenges, Americans are unemployed, and the future is uncertain, I think it’s important to remember events, people and places where historic things happened. 

Today is the eighth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center.  We all remember where we were and what we were doing when we heard the news, and, if you are like me, you remember a chilling fear that ran down your spine at least, and paralyzed you at most.  I live in the Atlanta area, and once it became clear that this was a coordinated attack, I thought it may be possible that Atlanta, too could be attacked.  I thought of the families of the people in the Trade Center, and I remember speculating that 10,000 people died in this attack. 

Then, the news of the fate of United flight 93 came out.  I remember feeling so sad for the families that lost their loved ones, but proud that 40 or so Americans did what Americans do:  they saw the situation before them, made a decision, together, to do something about it, and accomplished their goal of not allowing the plane they were on to be used as a missile.  I’m sure their ultimate goal was to survive and get back to their wives and children, mothers, fathers, friends and other family.  But they sacrificed their lives to save others.  This, too, what Americans do.  They die for nameless and faceless strangers whom they have never met, who probably don’t know and don’t care about their sacrifice, until something like the terrorist attack happens. 

Right now, our country in embroiled in a combative debate over government intervention in the private lives of America’s citizens.  We have seen the enemy attack our financial stability, and many Americans see the way the current government is behaving and fear these actions as just as destructive, maybe even more so, over the long term, to the American way of life.  The Al Qaeda terrorists thought they would cripple our country with fear.  They figured we would wilt in the intensity of the moment and give up our way of life to Islamofacists out of fear.  The current government seems to have a similar view of the American people. 

These people don’ t know America, and more specifically, the spirit of her people.  For the first time in our history, regular people, with no past interest in becoming politically active are gathering at town hall meetings and Tea Parties to express their anger to their government.  These people aren’t like liberal activists who play on ignorance and use all kinds of moral equivalency tools to shout down those who disagree with them.  They assemble, wave their signs, shout their chants, and listen to speeches from people they respect.  Even the armed ones aren’t openly belligerent to those who disagree with them; they recognize America as a place where people are not only allowed to disagree, but encouraged to do so.  Disagreement is usually where the best ideas come from.  Debate sparks thought, and thought sparks action. 

Tomorrow, a rally is happening in Washington, DC.  This rally is a Tea Party rally.  I don’t know how many people will be there, but if past Tea Parties are any indication, it will cut across socioeconomic lines, race lines, and professional lines.  People from all walks of life show up and declare in one voice that they will not be silenced, and that if you don’t listen to us, you will be looking for a new job soon.  This is the most American thing of all.  Yet, the media and Obama administration paint these people as fringe kooks who are ignorant and “clinging to their bibles and guns.”  They try to marginalize the most American of actions by regular citizens:  protest. 

The media won’t give this event the coverage it deserves, except to paint the participants and a bunch of gun-toting crazies.  These people don’t report the news any more.  They are trying to shape American opinion against something they disagree with.  That’s fine if you are citizen, but a news organization is supposed to answer to a higher calling.  The calling of objectivity. 

We should celebrate our American-ness by participating in these rallies.  There are always people from both sides at these things, and if you liberals out there think your position is one that has merit, defend it with logic and facts, instead of name-calling and threatening gestures towards your American brothers and sisters who happen to be on the opposite side of an issue from you.  Incidentally, liberals are so sure of their positions that they don’t even want to be called liberals any more.  They want you to call them progressives.  Until this, too becomes a negative connotation for their ideas. 

The president wants us to remember the tragedy of 9/11 by going out and doing something for our community.  This is always something people should do.  But it has nothing to do with remembering 9/11.  It’s nothing but a purely political president using a tragedy to manipulate the kool-aid drinkers among us. 

9/11 is a day that is difficult to celebrate, because nothing positive came out of that event.  No form of celebration seems appropriate.  So, perhaps the most appropriate thing we can do is to remember what happened and those who were involved, the firemen and cops who responded to the call.  The soldiers and civilians who have died in the wars that followed that awful day.   And to say a prayer for all of them. 

But the most important thing we can do is to remember.  We must never forget how we felt that day.  We must promise ourselves and our children that nothing like that will ever happen again.  If it takes wire tapping every phone in the world and water-boarding a thousand terrorists, then that is what it takes to prevent such a terrible reoccurrence of that attack. 

I don’t care, and you shouldn’t either, if the rest of the world is angry with us.  Our security, not global security, is at stake.  Our ablility to work and live here in the US is at stake.  And, for some of us, our lives are at stake. 

We must never forget.   And we must will ourselves to do the most American thing.  Sacrifice for the good of our selves and our country.  I hope the leaders of our country can do that. 

But the prospects for that don’t look too good.


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