Well, it is September 11th again, as I write this I am in the makeshift projector “room” at my little church getting ready for our “Friday Night At The Movies” event; I am the projector operator so I have some time to write as everyone enjoys tonight’s movie “The Incredibles”. Our opening short is a video we found on Youtube called “The Star Spangled Banner As You’ve Never Heard It”
A truly remarkable and moving version of the story behind our National Anthem and a most appropriate tribute for the day we have all come to know as simply “9/11”.
My Grandbabies (ages 1 and 3) are here with me, it is sobering for me to think that their mother was merely 9 years old on this fateful day in 2001 when zealots of an evil faith slaughtered 3000 American citizens on our own soil; her brothers who are also here tonight helping out the church were just 7 and 5 on that day.
It seems like yesterday to me.
September 11th 2001 was a Tuesday and I awoke at a Truck Stop just outside of Las Vegas, I was scheduled to deliver in Vegas that morning. The only negative thought on my mind as I woke up was how Ed McCaffrey had broken his leg on Monday Night Football just as I was shutting off the truck to go to sleep the night before, I really liked watching McCaffrey and I feared that at his age a serious fracture would mean the end of his days as an iron man possession receiver.
I reached out of the sleeper berth and turned the key to start warming up the truck as I dressed but for some reason the radio was playing news, I was sure that it was on the sports channel the night before as I shut down the truck. I quickly realized that it was the sports station but the host was in ad lib mode about a terrible tragedy that made the current sports stories seem meaningless, a passenger jet had slammed into the World Trade Center in New York City.
I forgot all about things like football injuries in the shadow of such a terrible accident; at this point I still thought it was an accident.
I walked over to the Truck Stop store to fill my thermos and as I stepped through the door I saw a huge crowd gathered at the cash register watching the cashiers tiny little TV set, before I even made it to the coffee pot the whole crowd screamed; a second plane had struck the other tower and everyone who saw it knew that this was no accident.
I knew this was an act of war and I knew that I owned a home right below a very important piece of California infrastructure, a dam that was vital to my regions economy; a “target of value” to an enemy in other words. Getting home to my wife and 3 little kids was now the only priority on my mind, as I drove as fast as that Peterbilt would run I was hanging on every word of the updates being reported on the radio; all of the planes in United States airspace were ordered to land and the entire Nation became a “No Fly Zone” for 3 days.
What followed soon after is a period I have called “The Great Absence”, it seems the preponderance of flags is what most people remember after 9/11 but what amazed me was the absence of the shallowness that was so prevalent in everything from our politics to the advertising we were subjected to; the popular commercials that used sex appeal to sell hamburgers and portrayals of our Founding Fathers to sell everything from appliances to cars were blacked out.
Our favorite national sports leagues suspended regular play as the nation worked through what had just happened, a serious attitude had so permeated our thinking that even the very outspoken imbeciles who made a living trashing America knew that doing anything but sitting down and shutting up at that moment would mean the end of their niche careers.
I was not naïve at the time, I knew that the unity of understanding that had transformed our Nation as a result of the largest terrorist attack in human history would eventually give way once again to the shallow ideas and priorities that still resided in the hearts of many; things that were crystal clear in the shadow of that horrific day would again become clouded by words filled with fallacy and assembled upon false premises from those bent on misrepresenting the United States as a curse to the whole world since our inception.
This was not a new or recent paradigm, in 2001 the most common perspective being taught to American students about our history was that we were Founded by those whose highest priority was a love for Slavery, then we decided we hated women, then we dropped a nuclear bomb on someone and ushered in a dangerous nuclear world, then we kept picking on the good Communist nations of the world while we polluted the planet to such a degree that it was becoming uninhabitable, and through it all we just celebrated being able to shoot each other with our guns and worship the God of a silly old book that the enlightened had long since rendered a fairy tale.
It was only a matter of time before the Islamo-Fascists would be repainted as victims and the United States as their oppressors, it took only eight years for us to become so convinced of this imbecilic perspective that we elected a President who embraced it fully; and of course the results have been self evident.
We have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory and the whole world is paying dearly for our short attention span, we will not be spared these consequences either.
Don’t get me wrong, I do not excuse the rest of world in the slightest.
The “Whole World” is just as responsible for pretending that Free and decent people can coexist with Islamo-Fascists whose only objective is to slaughter everyone who will not embrace their phony religious ideas, the United States is clearly the best option to trumpet such simple truths but our embrace of absolute buffoonery in our leadership excuses no other nation from doing the same.
Choosing to ignore all but a few selective facts in order to remove their context has proved to be an effective strategy, most today don’t consider the 9/11 attack as much more than a blip in our history that motivated much over reaction and enduring inconvenience. For this reason I expect the same lesson to be taught to us again, I hope my kids and grandkids prove to be wiser stewards of that lesson than my peers have been.
We are on the precipice of helping the most outspoken enemy of the United States and the most significant supporter of international terrorism acquire nuclear weapons, this is occurring a mere 14 years after the 9/11 attack in the midst of the most vicious terrorist groups in history reeking havoc world wide. If the clarity of this error is so obscured that the United States Congress is not willing to do everything in its power to stop it then the needed clarity will occur in the aftermath, history revision can change short term perceptions and attitudes but history revision cannot change the results of making self destructive decisions.