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For six years, each September 11th I take some time to stare straight into my mental and emotional mirror and to think back to the terrible events that mark this somber anniversary of our nation being savagely attacked by people whose religion prompts them to kill us if we do not convert. Today, that reflection leaves me angry and frustrated, not only because we were attacked but also because in the intervening years we have become our own worst enemies. On September 11th, 2007, we live in a nation at war, not just with its enemies but with itself.
Make no mistake that we are at war. In Afghanistan, Iraq, the Horn of Africa, the Philippines, and dozens of other countries around the world, the United States and the rest of the non-fundamentalized peoples of the world are engaged in a brutal struggle against a foe whose goal is to subjugate the entire world to their religion. In this war, people are really fighting and dying, not for some political gain, but for victory.
Unfortunately, the very peoples who are at war with fundamentalist Islam are also at war with themselves over whether or not they should try to win. Right now, in the United States, a divisive debate rages about pulling out of Iraq. One political ideology sees launching defamatory attacks against the President and military leaders as an effective way to score political points. Almost two-thirds of Americans think that abandoning Iraq to the fundamentalists is an acceptable course of action, regardless of the costs.
September 11th, 2001 was a terrible day, made all the more terrible in 2007 by the fact that we as a nation obviously did not learn the brutally hard lessons we were taught that day. As we remember the shock of being attacked on our own soil and mourn for the thousands that were lost, we must also remember the realization and resolve we felt that day, and we must reapply that realization and resolve to our national identity and debate about the future.
It is a sad reality that September 11th is not the only date that Americans and the rest of the world are forced to remember. Dates like March 11th, July 7th, and October 12th have joined September 11th in a growing litany of evidence as to the struggle announced in fire and blood that day. If we fail to learn the lessons September 11th, 2001 taught us, we simply condemn ourselves to more somber anniversaries of our enemyâ€™s intent to defeat and subjugate us.
As for me, I will not forget the lessons I learned that day and have learned since that day. Even if I stand alone, I will fight for my nation, my way of life, my family, my friends, yes even for myself until I am either dead or the victory is achieved. I pray that, on this solemn day, we as a nation will rededicate ourselves to the same purpose so that September 11th can be remembered by future generations as the day America dedicated itself to victory.
UPDATE 1: Changed “stair” to “stare” in the first paragraph…
UPDATE 2: Added the TCS Daily link and changed all links to open in a new browser window.
UPDATE 3: Added a link to the Dissident Frogman