I laughed, I scoffed at my friends. I blatantly told them that they were blowing it out of proportion somehow and arrogantly told them that what they were describing could not conceivably occur in the United States of America.
Then, a man with whom I would not suspect to be one succumbing to emotions entered the room to begin our meeting, and stated, with a tearful eye, that he had friends in the Pentagon, saying nothing more as he departed. Dumbstruck and not knowing what to expect, I rushed home to a find a great friend staring at a television screen in disbelief, and with genuine fear, an image that would inevitably be seared into my mind: the first scenes of the WTC crumbling. I will never forget the look on his face as he turned to look at me....
With such, I was swept away into action for the rest of the day, emotion did not catch up with me until standing at a Red Cross shelter looking at the countless faces that reflected the same look, the same eyes that my friend had.....
What happened? Why? Who? Of course, we did not know that day.
In the ensuing weeks we learned. I received this letter as a 'FORWARD,' and its words resonated with me throughout those early weeks. It words still bring those same basic human emotions that I felt that day and the weeks to follow:
'We'll go forward from this moment'
It's my job to have something to say.
They pay me to provide words that help make sense of that which troubles the American soul. But in this moment of airless shock when hot tears sting disbelieving eyes, the only think
that I can find to say, the only words that seem to fit, must be addressed to the unknown author of this suffering.
You monster. You beast. You unspeakable bastard.
What lesson did you hope to teach us by your coward's
attack on our World Trade Center, our Pentagon, us? What was it you hoped we
would learn? Whatever it was, please know that you failed.
Did you want us to respect your cause? You just damned your cause.
Did you want to make us fear? You just steeled our resolve.
Did you want to tear us apart? You just brought us together.
Let me tell you about my family and my people. We are a
vast and quarrelsome family, a family rent by racial, social, politics and class
division, but a family nonetheless. We're frivolous, yes, capable of expending
tremendous emotional energy on pop culture minutiae - a singer's revealing
dress, a ball team's misfortune, a cartoon mouse. We're wealthy, too, spoiled by
the ready availability of trinkets and material goods, and maybe because of
that, we walk through life with a certain sense of blithe entitlement. We are
fundamentally decent, though - peace loving and compassionate. We struggle to
know the right thing and to do it. And we are, the overwhelming majority of us,
people of faith, believers in a just and loving God.
Some people - you, perhaps - think that any or all of this makes us weak. You're mistaken. We are
not weak. Indeed, we are strong in ways that cannot be measured in arsenals
Yes, we're in pain now. We are in mourning and
we are in shock. We're still grappling with the unreality of the awful thing you
did, still working to make ourselves understand that this isn't a special effect
from some Hollywood blockbuster, isn't the plot development from a Tom Clancy
novel. Both in terms of the awful scope of their ambition and the probable final
death toll, your attacks are likely to go down as the worst acts of terrorism in
the history of the United States, and probably, the history of the world. You've
bloodied us as we have never been bloodied before.
But there's a gulf of difference between making us bloody and making us fall. This is the lesson Japan was taught to its bitter sorrow the last time anyone his us this hard, the last
time anyone brought us such abrupt and monumental pain. When roused, we are
righteous in our outrage, terrible in our force. When provoked by this level of
barbarism, we will bear any suffering, pay any cost, go to any length, in the
pursuit of justice.
I tell you this without fear of contradiction. I know my
people, as you, I think, do not. What I know reassures me. It causes me to
tremble with dread of the future.
In the days to come, there will be recrimination and accusation, fingers pointing to determine whose failure allowed this to happen and what can be done to prevent it from happening again.
There will be heightened security, misguided talk of revoking basic freedoms.
We'll go forward from this moment sobered and chastened, sad. But determined, too. Unimaginably determined.
THE STEEL IN US
You see, the steel in us is not always
readily apparent. That aspect of our character is seldom understood by people
who don't know us well. On this day, the family's bickering is put on
As Americans we'll weep, as Americans we mourn, and as Americans, we will rise in defense of all that we cherish.
So I ask again: What was it you hoped to teach us? It occurs to
me that maybe you just wanted us to know the depths of your hatred. If that's
the case, consider your message received. And take this message in exchange: You
don't know my people. You don't know what we're capable of. You don't know what
you just started.
But, you're about to learn.
-Leonard Pitts, Jr.
Now, in retrospect, as I look at these same words for the first time since those days, the words that jump from the page are
When roused, we are righteous in our outrage, terrible in our
force. When provoked by this level of barbarism, we will bear any suffering, pay
any cost, go to any length, in the pursuit of justice.
Thank God almighty himself for genuine leaders who do not utter such rhetoric for it's own sake, but who pursue such endeavors with cognizance of the ramifications they entail. This war against the barbarians began long before 9/11, but just as we have done throughout our long history, we were slow to ascertain a threat upon our national security until the losses were personal and loss was quite substantive. This directly correlating with our peaceful nature and our seeing the best in anyone before coming to terms with the worst human nature has to offer. Despite the disingenuous nature of the those on the left who will stop at nothing in their frothing hatred of this President, Americans have stayed the course. Americans, reminiscent of scores of previous generations, know, as does our President, that we have a long, treacherous road ahead of us. It is with such that I am genuinely proud of my fellow Americans, our family, being united in times when it matters the most. Just like a family, we know when and how to put away the bickering.
As we still move forward, we must not afford to forget the pain. We cannot afford to forget the suffering endured by our fellow Americans. As the far left has done in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, they are now doing in full force with 9/11, it has become a political game to be mastered, through which spin and conspiracy theories run ramped. What asinine, naive games those on the left play with such that is the basis of our human existence, our lives. This definitively illustrates why these people continue to fail miserably in every election. Fortunately for every American, left or right, they continue dogmatically to cling to their naivete, through which those with courage to face what is reality continue to protect each and every one of our lives.
My fellow Americans, remember these images, remember that day. I began this post with but a piece of that day that was my own personal account. It still hurts to relive some of those memories, but we must all cling to our memories, our personal accounts. We must steadfastly hold onto what happened to us personally and what happened to our brothers and sisters. If we cannot hold these occurrences, and remember the undying hatred that that day saw, how can we be that beacon of freedom for the rest of the world? How can we spread hope throughout the world? For those who know not what they have, who fail to appreciate the blessings, will surely lose those blessing. Any apathy to something such as 9/11 would show that we have not learned, and those that do not learn from history....
(Please consider this an open forum to iterate your memories or share in other memorials. I will continue this thread as a forum that I will continue to update, if you would like to share any links of interest, or just share your thoughts, it is encouraged and would be appreciated)
Ace of Spades - September 11th
All Things Beautiful - Remembrance of Things Past
Area417 - Sept. 11: What were you doing four years ago today?
Atlas Shrugs - No Words
Barking Moonbat - The Day the Music Died
Blogs for Bush - Remembering
Bring it On! - Reflecting Back and Looking Forward
Brutally Honest - You haven't forgotten... have you?
California Yankee - A Day For Remembering
Cao's Blog - NEVER FORGET
Cap'n Bob - Remembering September 11, 2001
Captain's Quarters - Remembering 9/11
CatHouse Chat - Four years ago - never forget
California Conservative - 9/11: In Memoriam
Confederate Yankee - Nine Eleven Zero Five
Hugh Hewitt - The Heroes of the Long War
Pirate's Cove - 9/11: 4 Years Ago
The Jawa Report - Al Qaeda takes 9/11 anniversary to threaten more attacks
Ogre's Politics & Views - September 11th
PoliPundit - September 11 – In Pictures
Sportshaven - A Time to Reflect
Southern Appeal - Remember the Blood of Heroes
Generation Why? - Never Forget
Michelle Malkin - NEVER, NEVER FORGET
My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy - In Memoriam
Peat Bog - 9.11: A Beautiful Story
The Donkey Stomp - Remember September 11, 2001
The Moderate Voice - Four years later...
The Political Teen - 9/11 - Never Forget
Ravings of a Mad Tech - 9/11: My Remberance by Todd D. Miller
Red State Rant - September 11, 2005
Sister Toldjah - Remembering 9-11-01 (Reposting)
Stop the ACLU - September 11th Remembered
Speed of Thought... - Remembering...
The Wide Awakes - 9/11
The Gun Toting Liberal - It's 9/11 Again
Winds of Change - 9/11: Risin' Up From The Ashes...
Wizbang! - 9/11 Four Years Later (1)
Zaphriel's Blog - It was a Tuesday morning