Truly, I had not intended to write about the anniversary of September 11, 2001. I had thought I would remember it in my silence and thoughts. Then, I started watching some of the video footage of that day and reading some of the posts of the blogs I frequent, and realized I could not keep silent. The tragedy of that day requires me to post my thoughts.
To say September 11, 2001 was a tragedy is an understatement. Almost 3,000 people lost their lives when the World Trade Center towers came crashing down. The most painful of those deaths, at least to me, are the people who were trapped in the floors above the planes. The flames and wreckage dictated those people would die. Some of them were forced to make the horrible decision between burning to death or jumping from a window from near the top of the towers. That’s not much of a choice, but it’s one they had to make. Several people chose to jump to their deaths and while I can’t feature myself doing that, they were faced with a no win situation. All because Islamic terrorists decided they needed to make a point to protest the wrongs they perceived us to be guilty of. As a result, thousands of innocent men, women, and children were killed.
A lot of words will be posted about September 11, 2001. The majority of those words will be about the World Trade Center towers and the people who died there. In the midst of that, we should also remember the men and women who were killed when another plane crashed into the Pentagon. Last, but certainly not least, let us remember the passengers of Flight 93. Who knows how many lives they saved when they took control of the plane and crashed it into that Pennsylvania field? From the information we now have, it seems likely the Islamic terrorists had intentions of crashing the plane directly into the Capitol. I know many of are not huge fans of Bill Clinton, but I felt he said it best in his speech at the Flight 93 memorial service in 2011. He was speaking to the family members of the passengers of Flight 93.
NewsBusters – But every child I grew up with was raised on a memory of the Alamo, the defining story of Texas. Why? Because those people knew they were going to die. But the time they bought and the casualties they inflicted in the cause of freedom allowed the whole idea of Texas to survive. And those who live there now to enjoy the life they do.
The first such great story I have been able to find that reminds me of all your loved ones, however, occurred almost 2,500 years ago. When the Greek king of Sparta facing a massive, massive Persian army took 300 of his finest soldiers to a narrow pass called Thermopylae. There were thousands upon thousands upon thousands of people. They all knew they were going to die. He told them that when they went. And the enemy said we’re going to fill the air with so many arrows that it will be dark. And the Spartans said, fine, we will fight in the shade. And they all died.
But the casualties they took and the time they bought saved the people they loved. This is something different. For at the Alamo and at Thermopylae, they were soldiers, they knew what they had to do. Your loved ones just happened to be on a plane.
With almost no time to decide, they gave the entire country an incalculable gift. They saved the capitol from attack. They saved God knows how many lives. They saved the terrorists from claiming the symbolic victory of smashing the center of American government. And they did it as citizens.
They allowed us to survive as a country that could fight terror and still maintain liberty and still welcome people from all over the world from every religion and race and culture as long as they shared our values, because ordinary people given no time at all to decide did the right thing. And 2,500 years from now, I hope and pray to God that people will still remember this.
I would be amiss if I did not mention my thoughts about President George W. Bush. He is one of the most maligned presidents in our time. The liberal media did everything they could do to destroy his presidency and he was called many hateful things. I’ll be the first to tell you I disagreed with many of the decisions he made in his eight years as President. I do not believe we should have invaded Iraq and I believe he should have handled the economic crash in 2008 much differently. Having said that, President Bush came into his own after the attacks in 2001. He showed his real strength, which was bringing us all together as one. His leadership helped us pull together as a country and come out of the other side of the worst attack on American soil since Pearl Harbor.
So, on this day, twelve years after that fateful day when our world came crashing down, let us remember the horror and the tragedy of that day. Let us reflect on what has happened in the years following. Let us look at where we were then and where we are at today. Most of all, let us look at where we are going and ask ourselves this question. As a country and as individuals, are we headed in the right direction? I’ll leave you to ponder that question in your hearts and minds, as you remember what happened on September 11, 2001.