With the 10 year anniversary of 9/11 upon us, I thought I would take the time to reflect a little on the event and how I have seen America change and how I have changed. First off, we all are 10 years older, maybe wiser, but that can be debated. It’s hard to imagine still that we, the United States of America, were attacked and the 3000 people lost their lives for no good or valid reason. That a few simple-minded religious fanatics decided that flying planes in to buildings, killing innocent people, was the best way to get their message across. Still seems like a made for TV movie or a bad summer teen flick where the hero would be some 17-year-old boy who discovered the plot when he was hacking into the governments secret computer system.
But it happened, it for better or worse it has changed the American land scape. We now have long lines at the airport where 70-year-old grandma’s along with 10-year-old children are searched the same as some Muslim extremist. To me, this is a case-in-point were profiling would be well worth our efforts. As far as I know no 90-year-old grandma nor any 10-year-old has blown up a building as of late, but I am sure we have seen this sort of activity from the Muslim extremist. We all profile people daily, and we should. When I travel to different parts of the world I am always on the look out for people who “just don’t look like they are up to any good” and I am always told by my friends who live their what to look out for. That sounds life profiling to me. Our teachers do it daily, or at least they should, they should be looking for the students that are more prone to cheat or steal. We have reports and findings on this almost daily in the news. Reports that tell us that a child that lives with only his or her mother is more likely to do bad in school and life. To be on the look out to help them and to better understand them. That is profiling… And we should do it, it can save a life, like the life of the teen whom we profiled to be at risk, or my life when I profile a potential terrorist based on there Muslim identity.
So that is one way that 9/11 has changed America, and one that has caused lots of debates both for more security and less for profiling and not. The debate is healthy and good for America and we should continue it, it is how our government works best, when We the People are involved in the discussion.
I have also seen America become more united, directly after the attacks and then seen her become more divided as time went on. Creating a political hot potato out of the events out of 9/11. I have seen reasonably intelligent people blame the United States for the attacks and others declare it to be the work of the United States Government, all so President Bush can go to war… I have seen people who were for the war turn agents it for political gain and use 9/11 to create emotionally gain votes. But I have also seen heart-felt pain and longing on the face or true Americans who understand the devastation and lost.
9/11 has changed the face of American, it has torn at the fabric that makes this nation great. In some respects it has made her greater and in others it has not. Like most things in this world there is always two sides to every story, and 9/11 is no different.
As for me, it has created a pride for my nation that I have never known. I was always a flag waving proud American, but 9/11 has reminded me the America is the defender of freedoms throughout the world, that she is the light shinning on that hill and that America is the symbol of freedom and liberty that beckons to all who desire it. 9/11 has awaken in me my sense of duty to participate in the great experiment called America, to vote to be informed and to engage in debate. It has awaken in me a sense of urgency to learn and to grow. To watch and to read, to become an informed citizen of this great nation.
The terrorist failed in there attack’s on America, the 3000 did not die in vain, America will come back stronger and wiser because of 9/11 and the world will once again know her for what she is, a land of Liberty and Freedom. A land that is welcoming to all who wish to enter (legally) and to all who need the protective arms of Lady Liberty. America has changed as have I, I am more resolved than ever before to defend all the America stands for, I have never been prouder to state “I am an American!” (unlike Mrs. Obama) and I will never apologize (like Mr. Obama) for Americas exceptionalism. I will continue to wave my flag and hold it high, I will continue to show my pride in America and I will always state “I am proud to be an American”.
This week I will travel to Germany (September 12) and I am sure the topic of 9/11 will arise, an I am sure I will be hit with anti-American rhetoric. And I am also sure that I will stand strong and proud as I defend her abroad. America is my home and my love, my nation is dear to me and I will defend her honor till death. Patrick Henry said it best when he said “Give me liberty or give me death”.
Sure America has her issues and her spotted past. Slavery is a black ark upon her soul, but she also has her silver linings and admirable attributes. America, like any other human endeavor, will falter from time to time, but unlike any other republic ever conceived, America will, as it always has, correct her course through debate and discourse and the power of the vote. “We the people” has meaning and power in America, and as history has proven, We the People are not afraid to use it. No other nation in history has helped so many and ask for so little in return, no other nation in history wins the war, rebuilds the nation just to return her back to the people. America is a proud nation, a nation of Peoples who are willing to die for the ideals that define her. Our past is filled with patriots who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms, they have spilled their blood upon the soil of not only this nation but the nations of the world, in the defense of an ideal, that all people are created equal and free. That liberty is worth the fight and that the gains will out number the losses. Yes it is true that loss of any life is not cause for celebration, but it is also true that sometimes the ideal is worth the fight. The principles that make up the American character are simple and true, the words are known by some, but sadly not by all, our founding Fathers sacrificed all they had to declare and defend these basic life principles.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
America is the land of the free and the home of the brave, she is the shinning light upon the hill-top and a beacon for all who seek truth and liberty. America is all that she set out to be and will be, for we are a nation of people who believe in the ideals our founders established for us, we are a nation of freedom lovers and defenders of the truth. 9/11 has shown me this, besides all the political grandstanding and anti-American Americans. The true heart of America still beats and pumps the red, white and blue blood through our veins and the flag still flies high and proud.
On this tenth anniversary of 9/11 take the time to thank our military and first responders, hug your children and tell them you love them. Fly the flag with pride and remember the ones that lost their life in the cowardly attacks of that faithful day. Take the time to read-up on our nation, our founders and the first principles of this great nation. On this anniversary take the time to stop into a church or synagogue or mosque, give thanks to God for this great nation and ask for His guidance and grace. Spend a few moments in silence and solitude, and remember that day, lest we ever forget.
God Bless and may God shed His grace upon thee