This was WAR! The very people who had declared war on us many years earlier. Osama Bin Laden had been behind the USS Cole bombing. We did nothing. Terrorists were responsible for kidnappings, beheadings, and US Embassy building suicide bombings. We did nothing. Under
the watchful eye of Bill Clinton, we refused to go after this radical but bold and fearless group of terrorists. We were even offered Bin Laden once. But Bill said he was too much of an 'hot potato' and refused him. And Bill Clinton knew who he was and what he was a part of.
As the twin towers collapsed. First the north tower, and soon followed by the south, chaos ensued. Everyone ran for their lives. People pulled strangers into shops or helped grab people under vehicles. The cloud from the collapsed stretched far and wide.
It was said it was like a war zone. NO, it WAS a war zone. And those who were not mere innocents targeted by cowards, were the brave men and women who we call Firemen, and Policemen. They were running into those buildings while everyone else was running out. These were true heroes. They buried many of their own that day. This act of terrorism was felt by an entire nation.
As soon as they dusted themselves off, and called their families to let them know they were okay, these brave heroes went right back to work. Because we ARE Americans. You can not keep us down. These terrorists awoke a sleeping giant. And as soon as we recovered from 'the sucker punch from somewhere in the back'(Great song) we went after those who would dare attack us.
And let us not forget the brave passengers on united Flight 93. As they learned during their hijacking, from cell phone calls to family and friends, they quickly changed from those who sat waiting for it to be over, to those who would take control of their own fate. Thes brave and heroic citizens stormed the hijackers in an attempt to take back the plane. They knew they were dead and were determined to deny these cowards their target. It has been concluded that flight 93 was intentionally crashed by those terrorists because the plane was being taken over and they knew the gig was up. Whether heading for capital hill or The white house, these men and women died protecting this country. Heroes, one and all.
We all stoop a little closer to one another after that. There was a renewed sense of National pride. A flag was raised by these fireman, there at ground zero, representing the spirit of America. It cannot be conqured.
As the dust settled, we see the Statue of Liberty. She still beckons all ye tired and poor. But I say it stands as a warning also. A warning that America is a land of freedom, and that we will stand and fight for that freedom. Many will give their lives and their treasure to do so. Today we remember them. Those who have passed. And those who carry the torch today.
I find it interesting that we have people in our country who have forgotten what happened that day. They have forgotten the feeling of terror so many felt. They forgot that for a moment politics was a side note. Republicans and Democrats arm in arm sang on the from the steps of capital hill. We were a nation full of resolve. Where has it gone. Half of this country supports an agenda of losing the war on terror. They are now suffering politically because we are winning ground and already shifting power to Iraq forces in many areas. This is also happening very quickly. We are still in west Germany and Japan. It took us years before we turned over control of those areas to local leadership.
By the way, this same argument was happening way back when this country was first founded. The Muslims operating out of North Africa had actually been known as Barbary Pirates. They followed the Korans teachings and enslaved millions of Europeans they captured at sea for many centuries prior. They demanded tribute or basically extortion to allow merchant sailing vessels to pass by unharmed. Our first Presidents succumbed to this bribery. Thomas Jefferson had had enough. He outfitted a Navy and decided to take the fight to the 'pirates'. What Jefferson knew was that these people were terrorists. They were then and they are now. The following is an excerpt from an entry made by Jefferson after talking with an Arab diplomat, asking by what right they attacked Americans at sea.
"The Ambassador answered us that it was founded on the laws of the prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have answered their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take prisoners."
Jefferson did the right thing back then and George Bush did the right thing after 9-11. Many can argue that certain strategies did not work as well as planned. But we still have not been attacked on US soil again. And we know of at least 4 major attacks on New York City that have been thwarted. And how many cannot be planned because we are keeping them occupied in their own homeland?
I mourn the loss of any American Serviceman. But I understand that great sacrifice is necessary sometimes. Every soldier out there knows the risks. They do not want it to be them. Yet they all chose to be where they are and doing what they are doing. Take the time to say thank you. These brave souls are why those who do not have the best interests of this country at heart, have the right to criticize. And why they are able to do so here in this country, safely.