I remember 9/11 as vividly as I remember the day I got married, the birth of my children, and other life-changing events that became etched in my brain. That day forever changed the person that I was and the person that I would become. It put life in a perspective that can only exist when one’s innocence has been taken away.
And one would imagine that the tragic events of 9/11 would have changed the lives of every American who may not have witnessed firsthand the planes crashing into the World Trade Center or the eventual collapse of those great towers, but who could not escape the replay after replay on television and dramatic photographs plastered across every newspaper and magazine for weeks thereafter. Unfortunately, I do not believe that the lives of every American were altered that day.
I use the term “unfortunately” because I believe that one can only evolve in life and gain wisdom through experience — experience which is often painful and devastating, but which is part of the world in which we live. Those who grow up sheltered may live a very happy life, but they will go to their grave lacking the depth of understanding afforded to those who truly experienced life — its ups and downs, its joys and sorrows, its triumphs and its losses.
There is not a day that goes by that I do not think about the victims of the attacks on 9/11. The horrific events of that day reinforced something that my mother always said to me: “Life is but a minute.” Since 9/11, when I kiss my children goodbye in the morning, I pray that we will all arrive home safe and sound at the end of the day. I do not live my life in fear of being the victim of a terrorist attack; I live my life aware that there are terrorists in the world that want to kill me merely for living a life of freedom. It is that awareness that keeps me grounded in a reality that all too many Americans seemingly do not understand.
I have written before of friends who could not wait for Bush to leave office in order to regain their civil rights, which they viewed in jeopardy under his administration. That sounds completely ludicrous today in light of the various policies emanating from the Obama White House that will result in true infringements on our freedoms. But what is even more bizarre is that those civil rights and freedoms are being afforded to those very terrorists who participated in the attacks of 9/11 and who wish to destroy those very freedoms.
It is bad enough that my children cannot get an H1N1 vaccine due to production shortages and yet the government ensured that the Gitmo detainees were vaccinated. Then on Friday, it was announced that five Gitmo detainees, including terrorist mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, will be brought to New York City in order to face criminal charges in a civilian court. These terrorists, who wish to attack us and the freedoms which form the basis for our system of justice, will now be afforded all of the rights granted to U.S. citizens. And it will be done at the expense of the taxpayers, many of whom are survivors of the detainees’ heinous acts.
It was odd for me when I recently discovered that a liberal friend had no idea that Obama decided months ago that we are no longer fighting a “global war on terror” but are rather engaged in “overseas contingency operations.” When I asked her how she viewed Obama’s handling of the Fort Hood incident, she was not aware that he refused to draw any conclusions as to a possible motive and that he does not use the term “terror” to describe these types of attacks on our military personnel and citizens.