Reactivating in Honor of 9/11
This blog has been inactive way too long... It has been my own wussiness. I have been actively avoiding politics because I didnt want the stress... but now on the 5 year anniversary of 9/11... It is finally time for me to quit hiding from my responsibilities, however small.
Let us all remember, that for at least one day, perhaps a week or month, Americans forgot their political, racial and all other differences and came together as ONE people, not only in support of each other in grief and sorrow, but also in determination to fight our common enemy.
I, for one, believe that we will, unfortunately, once again, face a crisis that will bring that resolve to the forefront... because even though we Americans get wrapped up in our political differences and bickering, our enemy does not. Our enemy is united and resoved in its determination to destroy us. So I say and will continue to say... Remembering 9/11 is not enough... We Must NEVER forget, not ever.
Therefore, I am making a commitment to myself to quit hiding from the stress of political contentiousness and stop refusing to use my God given talents. As a start, I am putting, on this blog, the words from our president, the same one that held us together through those horrible days five years ago:
Five years ago, this date _ September the 11th _ was seared into America/s memory. Nineteen men attacked us with a barbarity unequaled in our history. They murdered people of all colors, creeds, and nationalities _ and made war upon the entire free world. Since that day, America and her allies have taken the offensive in a war unlike any we have fought before.
Today, we are safer, but we are not yet safe. On this solemn night, I have asked for some of your time to discuss the nature of the threat still before us, what we are doing to protect our nation ... and the building of a more hopeful Middle East that holds the key to peace for America and the world.
We also honor those who toil day and night to keep our homeland safe _ and we are giving them the tools they need to protect our people. We have created the Department of Homeland Security. We have torn down the wall that kept law enforcement and intelligence from sharing information ... we have tightened security at our airports, seaports, and borders ... and we have created new programs to monitor enemy bank records and phone calls. Thanks to the hard work of our law enforcement and intelligence professionals, we have broken up terrorist cells in our midst and saved American lives.
Five years after 9/11, our enemies have not succeeded in launching another attack on our soil _ but they have not been idle. Al-Qaida and those inspired by its hateful ideology have carried out terrorist attacks in more than two dozen nations. And just last month, they were foiled in a plot to blow up passenger planes headed for the United States. They remain determined to attack America and kill our citizens _ and we are determined to stop them. We will continue to give the men and women who protect us every resource and legal authority they need to do their jobs.
In the first days after the 9/11 attacks, I promised to use every element of national power to fight the terrorists wherever we find them. One of the strongest weapons in our arsenal is the power of freedom. The terrorists fear freedom as much as they do our firepower. They are thrown into panic at the sight of an old man pulling the election lever, of girls enrolling in school or families worshipping God in their own traditions.
They know that given a choice, people will choose freedom over their extremist ideology. So their answer is to deny people this choice by raging against the forces of freedom and moderation. This struggle has been called a clash of civilizations. In truth, it is a struggle for civilization. We are fighting to maintain the way of life enjoyed by free nations. And we are fighting for the possibility that good and decent people across the Middle East can raise up societies based on freedom, and tolerance, and personal dignity.
We are now in the early hours of this struggle between tyranny and freedom. Amid the violence, some question whether the people of the Middle East want their freedom _ and whether the forces of moderation can prevail. For 60 years, these doubts guided our policies in the Middle East. And then, on a bright September morning, it became clear that the calm we saw in the Middle East was only a mirage. Years of pursuing stability to promote peace had left us with neither.
So we changed our policies, and committed America's influence in the world to advancing freedom and democracy as the great alternatives to repression and radicalism.
With our help, the people of the Middle East are now stepping forward to claim their freedom. From Kabul to Baghdad to Beirut, there are brave men and women risking their lives each day for the same freedoms that we enjoy.
And they have one question for us: Do we have the confidence to do in the Middle East what our fathers and grandfathers accomplished in Europe and Asia? By standing with democratic leaders and reformers, by giving voice to the hopes of decent men and women, we are offering a path away from radicalism. And we are enlisting the most powerful force for peace and moderation in the Middle East: the desire of millions to be free.
Across the broader Middle East, the extremists are fighting to prevent such a future. Yet America has confronted evil before, and we have defeated it _ sometimes at the cost of thousands of good men in a single battle. When Franklin Roosevelt vowed to defeat two enemies across two oceans, he could not have foreseen D-Day and Iwo Jima _ but he would not have been surprised at the outcome.
When Harry Truman promised American support for free peoples resisting Soviet aggression, he could not have foreseen the rise of the Berlin Wall _ but he would not have been surprised to see it brought down. Throughout our history, America has seen liberty challenged _ and every time, we have seen liberty triumph with sacrifice and determination.
At the start of this young century, America looks to the day when the people of the Middle East leave the desert of despotism for the fertile gardens of liberty _ and resume their rightful place in a world of peace and prosperity.
We look to the day when the nations of that region recognize that their greatest resource is not the oil in the ground _ but the talent and creativity of their people. We look to the day when moms and dads throughout the Middle East see a future of hope and opportunity for their children. And when that good day comes, the clouds of war will part the appeal of radicalism will decline ... and we will leave our children with a better and safer world.
On this solemn anniversary, we rededicate ourselves to this cause. Our nation has endured trials _ and we face a difficult road ahead. Winning this war will require the determined efforts of a unified country. And we must put aside our differences, and work together to meet the test that history has given us. We will defeat our enemies we will protect our people ... and we will lead the 21st century into a shining age of human liberty.
Earlier this year, I traveled to the United States Military Academy. I was there to deliver the commencement address to the first class to arrive at West Point after the attacks of September the 11th. That day I met a proud mom named RoseEllen Dowdell. She was there to watch her son Patrick accept his commission in the finest Army the world has ever known. A few weeks earlier, RoseEllen had watched her other son, James, graduate from the Fire Academy in New York City.
On both these days, her thoughts turned to someone who was not there to share the moment: her husband, Kevin Dowdell. Kevin was one of the 343 firefighters who rushed to the burning towers of the World Trade Center on September the 11th _ and never came home. His sons lost their father that day _ but not the passion for service he instilled in them. Here is what RoseEllen says about her boys, "As a mother, I cross my fingers and pray all the time for their safety _ but as worried as I am, I am also proud _ and I know their dad would be too."
Our nation is blessed to have young Americans like these _ and we will need them. Dangerous enemies have declared their intention to destroy our way of life. They are not the first to try _ and their fate will be the same as those who tried before _
9/11 showed us why. The attacks were meant to bring us to our knees, and they did _ but not in the way the terrorists intended. Americans united in prayer ... came to the aid of neighbors in need ... and resolved that our enemies would not have the last word. The spirit of our people is the source of America's strength. And we go forward with trust in that spirit, confidence in our purpose _ and faith in a loving God who made us to be free.
Thank you, and may God bless you.