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.
Perhaps one of the problems with this administration that may have led to the mishandling of the information on Major Hasan is that they are simply dealing with “overseas contingency operations.” They seem not to recognize that not only are we dealing with terrorists abroad, but we are also dealing with homegrown terrorists right here in our backyard. And they are all unprovoked acts of violence being committed by Muslim extremists against innocent Americans.
While I wish no harm to anyone, I fear that it will take a devastating personal loss for individuals in the Obama administration to wake up and realize that we are fighting Islamic fundamentalists who do not care that life is but a minute because this life is meaningless to them beyond killing infidels. Obama can travel the Mideast making speeches, send over videos praising Allah and the religion of peace, and attempt to force Israel to make concessions to a people hell-bent on its destruction — but it will not change the essential fact that there is an enemy that wants to destroy us.
Over the past ten months we have watched the Obama administration make domestic policy decisions which many Americans view as radical and destructive to our economy, our freedoms, and our country. These domestic policy decisions also impact our standing in the world. As they weaken us here at home, they also weaken us abroad.
But combine these domestic policies with Obama’s foreign policy decisions to date and the results are simply disastrous for our country. Reaching out to the Muslim world has not proven to be fruitful by most analyses. In combination with his harsh treatment of our allies, Obama has made America a laughing stock. And while those on the far left are thankful for that, wanting to see our standing as a superpower diminished, I wonder where many of them were on 9/11.
I watched the video clip of Denise Sherman — the mother of 21-year-old Benjamin Sherman, who was recently killed in Afghanistan — as she pleaded for Obama to make a decision on his strategy for that war:
“It’s time we do something. This has gone on too long. They either need to come home or we need to end it,” a tearful Denise Sherman said.
I could not help but compare the dignity and grace of Denise Sherman with Cindy Sheehan’s demonstratively shallow extremism. But it also made me consider that while Obama continues to spend his days as commander in chief voting present, he and his advisors fail to realize that their inaction is more harmful than any action they could take. Combine that with a commander in chief who deliberately will not recognize that we are fighting fundamentalist Islamic fanatics both here and abroad, and one realizes that this country and its citizens are in serious danger of not only going into decline, but of experiencing future catastrophic incidents on a regular basis.
Fort Hood was the first major terrorist attack on American soil since 9/11, yet the media, the politically correct left, and our president refuse to recognize that we are at war — a war on terror committed by Islamofascists. The Obama administration is made up in large part of a bunch of liberal academics who seemingly lived sheltered lives outside of the military, untouched by war. Perhaps they should visit, without prepared speeches and teleprompters, Fort Hood and the families of the victims murdered there. Then they might understand what this war is all about.
The executive branch of the United States government needs to draw on its members’ common sense, gain knowledge through the experience of those in the real world rather than those who insist on meeting behind closed doors, and evolve into a group of individuals that understand their responsibility to protect American lives. Otherwise, the phrase “overseas contingency operation” will have to be renamed “domestic contingency operation,” as 9/11 and Fort Hood become commonplace and more and more Americans learn the harsh lesson that “life is but a minute.”