Monday, September 11, 2006

Thoughts of September 11th

It is impossible for me to not give my two cents worth today on this the fifth anniversary of the attack on the Twin towers and the Pentagon.

First, there is no way I can some up all of my feelings and thoughts regarding the initial attacks and then this country’s response, but I’ll do my best to stay focused and semi-rational.

Like countless others I can remember the moments like they were yesterday, I was thousands of miles away, but it was truly a defining moment for this country and a generation that few old enough to remember will forget.

For me up until the towers actually fell it was like a blur, racing from channel to channel at a mind numbing speed to try to understand what was happening. But once the last tower fell I had two distinct thoughts that I could not shake from my mind. My first thoughts were off those poor people who never stood a chance, trapped hopelessly and knowing that they would not likely make it out alive. The second was off those people who would pay with their lives from America’s response. I’m not talking about those who had a hand in the attack, but the people who are living their lives on the other side of the planet the best way they know how.

I don’t consider myself a terribly religious man but for the first time in a long time I found myself praying for the victims and more importantly as I saw it, for our leaders to have the foresight and leadership that we needed so badly at that moment. My politics lean heavily to the left and I for one had no trouble with a military response, I would venture to say most American regardless of political affiliations felt the same. We were under attack and those responsible needed to be sought out and eliminated.

Sadly the government let an opportunity slip by, countries all over the world were with us, the attacks of 9-11 were an attack against humanity and decency. I remember getting emotional at seeing the three minutes of silence throughout Europe and shows of support from all over. But soon this administration choose to strike out on its own with a few “coalition of the willing” and divert from the mission of bringing those responsible for the 9-11 attacks to justice, and use the attacks to justify their long held plans to invade a Iraq and overthrow its government.

So here we are five years later, Iraq has not gone according to plan; the Taliban, which protected and housed those responsible for the attacks of September 11th, is showing signs of gaining strength once again in Afghanistan and the America is not looked at in the same light it had been in the past. Instead of being a big part of the solution, increasingly we are looked at as a part of the problem. Maybe it shouldn’t matter what others think, but to me with power comes responsibility and there was a golden chance for this country to truly lead, but sadly in my opinion “our leaders” failed us badly.

Now with an election year upon us we are hearing the “blame game”, fingers point here and there...Clinton is responsible for 9-11, Bush is responsible..... Yet one thing is clear. BIN LADEN AND HIS TERROR NETWORK ACCEPTED RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE PLANNING AND BRINGING THE TOWERS DOWN. End of story. I have a hard time believing a single official either Republican or Democrat would have not done everything in their power to stop the attacks if they had foreseen what would take place.

So instead of looking back to find blame, yes look back; to learn the lessons we can apply to our lives, remember those that were lost and never forget the heroic deeds performed on that day.

My biggest question is are we heading in the right direction? I still do not know how to answer that, but my gut says that we got off the right track shortly after September 11th.


At 5:01 PM, Anonymous Aun"t" said...

While I too was completely unglued, as were most citizens of the world and the U.S.A. regarding the events that occurred on 9/11, five years ago, I do have a particular affection for the date.

On September 11, 1971 I was married. Today your Uncle and I celebrate 35 years together. While we have been deeply aggrieved for the victims of 9/11 and wish them only the best. That day has always been one of celebration for us and one of beginnings, no s.o.b.'s are going to deprive us of a memorable date that, in fact, we treasured first.

I find myself thinking of all of the other people married or born on this day and hope that they are able to celebrate. Too much is made of the date of the terror rather than the terror itself. Every day millions of people in the world celebrate happiness, that is my preferred methodology, celebrate the days of life.

For us that date unleashed events that eventually led to the lovely family and full life we have now. Celebrate it please.

At 6:04 PM, Blogger William A. Smith said...

Well said. Happy Anniversary ! wow I almost forgot busy a month September is for the Erskine clan!!!

It was great seeing you Saturday! you have some of the cutest dang grandchildren I've ever

At 11:52 PM, Anonymous Aun"t" said...

I will certainly not argue with you over the adorable nature of my grandchildren, and for that matter my nieces and nephews. It was fun Saturday, nice of Lou to have a birthday so we could celebrate.


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