Friday, September 12, 2003

Yesterday was an eye-opener. When I put my flag out in the morning, I became much more emotional than I ever thought I would. The memories of two years ago are so fresh and vivid, it feels like yesterday. The fire station down the street had flowers, a candle, flags left on the front lawn by neighbors who wanted to acknowledge their fallen brothers-in-arms. Their flag was at half-staff. The flag at work was at half-staff.

Then everything seemed "normal". What exactly is normal, anyway? My co-workers were going about their business, doing their jobs, preparing for a big conference next week. Nobody talked about it. For me, there was a big pink elephant in the room, and I couldn't ignore it.

So I went online. There were some wonderful tributes to the day, by people who still feel connected to it. Some were simple, some were the most eloquent expressions I've ever seen. The news covered the memorial services at the three sites of carnage. The children had me in tears. I took in as much as possible. I stared at the pictures, tried to find the most disturbing so I could remember. I looked for the jumpers and the towers exploding. Every time I see a jumper, I face my own mortality. What would I have done? What happens in the mind when you are faced with death by fire or jumping 1000+ feet to your death? At what point would I want to just get it over with?

I wanted to remember, and found out that I have never forgotten. Every day, 9/11/01 enters my mind. Every day. Every day I watch the news and see our brave soldiers fighting the barbarians who brought this to us and it reminds me. Every time I see a firefighter or police officer, it reminds me. Every single time my brethren are viciously attacked overseas, it reminds me. Everything reminds me. My world was rocked off its axis two years ago yesterday, and I'll never be the same. It changed me in so many ways, ways I can't even describe.

And then I saw how so many Americans dealt with the day yesterday. I am not one to criticize how people react to devastation and tragedy. I do, however, question those who took yesterday as an opportunity to politick. Among the articles about the memorials and victims were articles about how America has "squandered" the sympathy we garnered that day. You know what? I don't give a flying f-ck who sympathizes and who doesn't. It didn't happen on France's shores, or in Australia's sovereign territory. It happened HERE. When it happens on your shores, you are more than welcome to appease the murderers. You are more than welcome to continue to host their Magnificent 19 celebrations. You are more than welcome to excuse their hatred and look inward for the reasons they hate you. I won't do that. America should not do that. I also won't take the day to reflect on the mistakes that America has made-- it's not the time. 9/11 belongs to those who died two years ago.

Every day since the tragic day, I have thanked God we have a leader who is willing to punch back and engage in aggressive rhetoric against our enemies. This isn't just a ground war, it is a PR war. Yet so many among us accuse our leader of politicking on the day our nation mourns. They criticize him for speaking about the war against terrorists on the anniversary of the day the war was declared on us. Is it inappropriate to speak of the course we are taking to ensure it never happens again? I think not. The President of the United States, whoever he is at any given moment, is the figurehead of this nation. He is our Prime Minister. Yesterday, he was our Prime Minister. Today he is our Commander in Chief. We have an enemy, the likes of which we've never seen before. I pray every day that we stay the course, undaunted by political correctness and the threats of dead terrorists (OBL is DEAD), unaffected by the pacifists who have smoked too much weed and somehow believe that Peace on Earth is possible among humankind.

There will never be such thing as Peace on Earth as long as humans exists. We'll have days of relative calm, but never true and lasting peace. That's why we need to remain vigilant. The only way to achieve peace is through unrelenting strength of will. When the pacifists win, we'll all lose. If we let petty partisanship get in the way of business, that will be the end of us. They knew we were sleeping on that day two years ago. We can never go to sleep again. Those who deny that we have an enemy are denying that big elephant in the room.

I believe in America more than those murderous bastards believed in Islam. I hold my constitution closer to my heart than those religious fanatics hold their Koran to theirs. I love life more than they embrace death. They will never defeat me, even if they kill me. As long as I live, I will hold my government responsible for protecting me and my family-- that is their job. As long as I live, I'm ready to fight for what is right and good. To hell with those who want to see us fail for their gain. And to hell with those who would rather fly the world flag in unity with our enemies instead of the flag of our land. I will never be ashamed to be American, and nobody can make me ashamed.

My flag will always be the Stars and Stripes, through the good and the bad, our mistakes, tragedies and triumphs. We will win this war-- we MUST win this war. And we can never, ever forget. I'll never forget, and I'll never get over it. I'm still as sad today as I was two years ago, only now I'm much more angry. I won't be satisfied until justice is done for every one of those victims. It's going to take time, and I'm more than patient.

God bless the victims of 9/11/01, and God bless America.

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