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9/11: Your Personal & National Responsibility to Remember, Reflect & Pray

It’s just days before we officially recognize the horrific tragedy that hit America around 9 a.m. Central, Sept. 11, 2001.

Initially, it appeared to be a horrific accident involving a plane that plowed into a World Tower in New York. A few minutes later, plane #2 slams into the next tower. Then the Pentagon and a downed airline in Pennsylvania.

9/11, do not forget.

No doubt by now, these aren’t accidents. The attacks were perpetrated by radical Islamists who commandeered passenger planes and slammed their evil terror into America’s greatest buildings. They succeeded in killing thousands, fostering frantic national fear and creating a lunar-sized crater in New York City.

9/11 Remembrance is not an option for you or any American.

Remembrance is required. It is responsible. It is a lesson only learned from seeing the travesty, depth and destruction it caused. It must be visual, graphic and raw. Your kids will be sobered by Reality. And that’s good.

Sadly, too much of 9/11 coverage look like our plasticized Hollywood celebrities. The media gloss over the bloody mess, falling bodies and screams. Coverage is controlled and antiseptic (We are in America, right?). War is crude, crass, and covered in realities that many generations can’t even fathom. Thank God for the movie, Saving Private Ryan, which sickened us to see the horror of war, murder and survival. Sadly, 9/11 coverage often became a G-rated, antiseptic version of what really happened.

9/11 is violent. It is R-rated. There was a lot of blood, gore, horror and screams. It’s Nightmare on Vessey/Church streets. Your kids must understand this reality. It isn’t Wylie Coyote pounded by boulders or video-gamer characters with mutliple lives and infinite powers. This evil is real. It kills. Bad guys sometimes “win” by blowing up buildings and people. Our children must be acutely aware there are men and women committed to destroying America, its people. You and me.

The Requirement to Remember 9/11

The most powerful visuals broadcast to all of us were:

  • A first commercial airlines hitting a tower
  • A second commercial airliner hitting another tower
  • The falling of both towers
  • Men and women choosing to jump from the towers. They knew their outcome.

And from there, an example of national leadership by the Leader of the Free World who stood in the heart of the smoldering pit in New York City.He stood atop a stacked scrap of metal with one firefighter, and declared:

“I can hear you, the world can hear you and—soon—
those who did this—will hear us too.”

Thunderous applause.

Today, that declaration reverberates stronger than ever. We need to hear more than politicians and pundits promoting their positions and power statements. We must recall and visualize that morning. Where were you? Did you see the coverage? How did you hear about it? What did you feel at first? And over the next several hours and days? These are the voices that must echo in our hearts and minds. These must drive us to silent time to reflect, grieve and mourn our American brothers and sisters, and their families.

What If?

  • What if your sister had worked at the towers that day? In her late 30s, she had a husband and two children under the age of six. She was blown to pieces and vaporized in seconds.
  • You’re at work and hear of the incident. No call from your husband. The hope. The hysteria. The prayers. She doesn’t know, but her husband was suddenly cut in half as the building crumbled around him. The wife is suddenly a single Mom, and she never got a chance to say goodbye. Or I love you.

This could be your or me. They did what we do: work hard, focus on family, pay their bills, love their kids and try to manage all the  extracurriculars–grocery shopping, soccer games, dry-cleaning pick-up, mowing the yard.

BOOM. Gone.

That’s why we remember. We pray for the Moms and Dads, and those kids.

Heroes. Forget Batman and Captain America. The real heroes flew from nearby streets, taxis, stores, firehouses and police departments.  we found real heroes minus capes and shields. They were firefighters, cops, doctors, bookkeepers, janitors, grocery clerks, street vendors, co-workers, chaplains and strangers. Every-day man and woman came to the rescue. They chose action over apathy. They rose up like angels, ready to comfort, rescue and do anything they were asked.

We Forget, We Fail. We can’t afford to forget 9/11 or not share an accurate perspective of it. It is fuel to re-focus and remember. It’s a shocking introduction for kids who need to know the world they are in. Yes, grandchildren too. Not sharing denigrates America.

They must know:

  • The history of America’s of war and battles, successes and failures
  • The tragedy of slavery and the momentous victories of equality and civil rights
  • A thorough understanding of the U.S. Constitution and the intent of our American forefathers
  • That Freedom always requires a high price. It is NEVER free.
  • The 9/11 story is real, raw, vivid horrific, saddening and shocking fuel for anger and rage.

By sharing with our future generations, we reduce risks for more attacks. We direct them to offense and defense. Awareness first. Action second.

If generations have not heard, they will not be prepared. If they have not heard, they will face the same tragedy and will not appreciate their nation or their freedoms. If they have not heard, they will not understand or fight–when democracy and its defining freedoms are taken away. We must press on, share and show how radicals can infiltrate, penetrate and obliterate any one. You. Me. Any time, any place.

We remember because we are America, a nation of people–so distinct, so diverse and so strongly empowered by a heritage of individualism. Yet, what occurred on Sept. 11 and immediately thereafter, shows we can harmonize and come together as one. It shows up when it really matters. We found consensus whether we were black, white, gay, straight, rich, poor, Democrat, Republican, Christian or, yep, (non-radical) Muslims. Why must it take a sordid American attack and thousands of dead people to sober us into unity? Seeing the 2001 September Slaughter in New York City must be a vision that’s clear and honest. No games. No political cover or correctness regarding any part of the event, from preparedness to pacifying Muslims. There is no denying what happened, or who and what is responsible.

The only presence more dangerous than radical extremists? Us. Yeah, you and me. When we are uninformed and ignorant, and  dismiss these events, forget about them, don’t care about them and just live a blind life of ease and complacency, we are doomed to repeat the horror. This condition softens America’s resolve and defense against enemies. Systematic malaise infects individuals and communities that are unprepared when tragedy occurs. It also invites government to take control and eliminate your individual liberties. The more we deny, the more constrictive our lives–and liberties–become.

Be alert. Be engaged. Consider 9/11 as America’s wake-up call to begin anew and to turn back from foolishness and wasted political energy. America is more than a Washington, D.C., a place that seems void of rules or responsibilities, Run by political renegades, they do whatever they please–and spend whatever they please. America is grounded in the truth that men and women (north, south, east and west) are The People who get the representation and power. Not vice versa. We are the original power brokers, with representatives serving the will of its people. How has that so perversely changed so that public servants become a class among themselves, millionaires and elitists who make deals that serve self, not constituents? Does a cowboy in Quinlan, Texas, get the same congressional ear as a senator across the hall? What about a New York street vendor, a PR writer in Dallas, or a Saudi prince? (No on the first three, absolutely yes on the last one).

The feeling of late is that America is weak, floundering and foolish. There is no leadership from the executive branch or legislative branch. Do they even recognize their role as representatives of the masses? It sure doesn’t feel that way.

Dismal & Depressed.  Yeah, it sounds pretty pitiful. I have my moments of sadness and anger about America. But I’m not losing hope. America has never faltered when its foes pressed hard, threatened, attacked and killed.

America is not finished.

There’s time.

Diagnosis and course of action? It requires a personal “shake-up.” It means turning powerlessness into passion; weakness into strength; choosing conviction vs. complacency. It means booting out Democrats and Republicans who consistently work the system to make million while forgetting about who voted them in. Anyone with more than six t0 eight years of “service,” kick them out  of office and do not allow them to lobby their money buddies. Choose fresh blood. Fresh ideas that shake the ground and the foundations of Washington, D.C. We need extremists who put D.C. diehards on a bus and ship them to the America they’ve forgotten (They do seem to remember us during the election cycle.).

Will you serve? Can you stand up to resurrect an America that is strong, proud and ready to meet the threats of today, economically, socially and military. Go then, stand up!

This week especially, remember 9/11/01.  It’s tragic almost to the point of paralysis. We have overcome. We will overcome.

God Bless America.

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