Saturday, September 11, 2010

Have You Forgotten?

I woke up this morning to the sound of my baby girl and my wife.  I love waking up on a Saturday morning to my beautiful children and wonderful wife.  It is one of those "precious moments" that make me truly happy.  My baby girl smiles so big and I hear my son laughing at something he did.  I look up to see my wife smile at me and say "good morning."

However, I still remember the significance of this date in history: September 11, 2001.  The world we live in changed forever.  Thousands lost their lives, heroes were made, and a nation was shocked into reality.  For too long, we had become complacent in our lives.  We walked around with this attitude of, "It'll never happen to me" and we paid the price for our ignorance, our arrogance, and our complacency in life. 

The world was, and still is, a dangerous place.  On that day, September 11, 2001, terrorists from an extreme religious faction opened our eyes to just how dangerous this world is, and many innocent people were killed.  Thousands more had their lives changed forever.  Millions of people were awakened to fear, terror, panic, and sadness as our televisions showed us the gruesome images live and repeated over and over until they were burned into our memories. 

These images are burned into my memory forever, but I'm not so sure about others.  It seems no one is in the mood to talk about the historic events of that day.  I'm sure it is painful for many - it is painful for me, even now, 9 years after the fact.  But the fact of the matter is that we will be doomed to have a repeat of this day, lest we forget.  Have you forgotten 9/11?  Have you dismissed the senseless killings of over three thousand innocent victims and the heroes who gave their lives to help their neighbor?  Did you forget the long lines outside of Red Cross buildings with people who were willing to give blood to those whom they never met?  Did you forget the sense of community that was shared by those who suddenly realized that life is precious and that everyday is a gift?  Did you forget about the sense of urgency you felt from not knowing whether you or your loved ones would be next?

This tragedy could have occurred anywhere in these United States.  You could have been a victim of this attack.  Before 9/11, you didn't give it much thought, but after 9/11, you suddenly imagined the possibilities.  Your eyes were opened, the blinders were removed, and for a while, you were concerned about security, safety, and the need to be prepared.

What has happened to this nation?  Why have so many forgot about such an important event in our lives?  Many in my peer group seem to dismiss this event as something that happened in ancient history; forgotten along with the US Revolution, the Spartans or Alexander the Great, only to be discussed among those who have chosen remember and never forget.

Was the September 11 attack of 2001 so traumatic as to be put into the back of the closet and never brought up again?  Have we buried this memory deep down so we don't have to think of it again?  Have we forsaken those who died that day?  Have we forsaken the memories of the soldiers who have put their lives on the line to ensure that attacks like this never again occur on our shores?  What service do we do to our countrymen and our nation by forgetting 9/11/01?

We, in fact, do not do any service.  We do a disservice to those men and women who died and sacrificed so much by not honoring the memories of those who died that day, and those who were hurt during the catastrophe.  We do not honor those civilian sheepdogs who warned of these attacks nor do we honor those who stood up and gave what they could to help our their countrymen and their neighbors.  When we forget important dates in our history, and refuse to discuss the impact they had on us as a people and as a nation, we ultimately do ourselves a great disservice.

I will never forget the events of September 11, 2001.  I will continue to remember the tragic events of that day and I will honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation.  I will remember those who were murdered by extremists who wish nothing more than our destruction out of their own vile hatred for who we are as a people.  I will not let 9/11/01 go quietly into the night and just fade away.  The memory of all those in this event will live on in me and my family.  My children will hear of it from me.  Their children will be taught, and hopefully, the sense of urgency, community, and the need for preparedness and love for our neighbors will be passed along to them.

Remember September 11, 2001.  Remember those who died.  Remember those who ran toward the falling trade towers and died trying to help their neighbor.  Remember those in the line of fire at the Pentagon.  Remember those who retook a hijacked plane and crashed it in Pennselvania to save others.  Remember those who gave on that day, and gave in the days thereafter.  Remember our soldiers who acted on their oaths to defend our nation.  Remember those who hated us and attempted to destroy us.  Most importantly, remember that this tragedy happened in your time and that you are the force of change and the voice of freedom on these shores.  Uphold the Constitution and defend your values as an American, a father, mother, husband, wife, son, daughter, friend, colleague, etc.  Remember who you are and never forget!


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