As I sit down to write this on September 10, 2010, I wonder what tomorrow will bring. Do you remember the outrage, the sorrow, and the shock of that day nine years ago? I am curious if any one of us could have predicted, on this ninth anniversary, what we would be talking about today.
Did you think we be talking about some backwater Pastor of a 50 person church in Florida burning copies of the Koran? Who would have thought the only real debate about building in lower Manhattan would be the discussion surrounding the building of a Mosque?
With the image of the falling towers still freshly burning into your memory on that fateful day, what would you think if you were transported nine years into the future and walked down the sidewalk of lower Manhattan, picked up today's newspaper or watched the evening news? Would you be shocked about what we are concerned with, or would you be more shocked by what we have lost sight of?
Would that transported 9/11 American give a rip about the Koran burning Pastor, President Obama's approval ratings, the start of the NFL season, or the legalizing of marijuana. I am pretty sure they would not. They would be asking, did we kill Osama Bin Laden? Did we kill the rotten SOBs who were behind the attacks? Why haven't they built anything at Ground Zero? Are we even at war? What the hell is going on with you people?
I understand that life goes on and we must look forward, but sometimes I think we would rather believe that 9/11 was some one-off, singular act that we can just choose to forget. If we do forget who attacked us that day, we do at our own peril. The radicals have not gone away, but reading the newspapers and watching the news today, you could conclude that terrorism is a back burner issue.
We are at war, and that seems to get lost in all the headlines screaming for our attention. The soldiers and Marines out on patrol in the Kandahar area are just as brave, just as hot, and just as miserable living out of a rucksack in a tent as the troops who beat back the insurgency in Iraq. When we say, "Never forget" this isn't aimed solely at those who perished on September 11. Remember the troops as well; they are trying to kill those who would love to bring us a much bigger sequel to 9/11.
So, nine years later, I wonder what we would think of us? Maybe some are glad that we have moved on, and have "gotten past" 9/11. For some of us "never forget" is just a bumper sticker slogan. For those who lost loved ones on that day, or any day in the last nine years fighting this war against Islamic radicals, it means much more. It also means a great deal for those who have family and friends serving on the front lines.
I am putting out my flag tomorrow in remembrance, but I also think I will make a donation to Soldier's Angels. As the events of September 11, 2001 fade from our memories, I hope I never forget who is fighting for my freedom today.