Friday, September 9, 2011

9-11, We must never forget

10 years ago, the unthinkable happened to our Nation. So many of us were not here the last time an enemy attacked us at home, December 7, 1941.  We never thought this could happen here.  It always happens somewhere else, not here.  We had slipped into a false state of security.  We are the “Big Dog” on the block.  Nobody is going to try us.  We were wrong, dead wrong.

I remember getting in my patrol car on the morning of the 11th.  As I filled out my daily log, I recall thinking to myself how odd it was that I was working as a police officer on 9-11.  I am sure I had worked on the previous 9-11’s and never thought anything about it.  If nothing would have happened that day I would never have given it another thought.  But, something did happen that day.  Something that changed the World, forever.  Our lives would never be the same.  The World that our children would grow up in would not be the same as the one that we had grown up in.  This day will always be one of those, “I remember exactly where I was when it happened.”

Watching the images on TV as people were so desperate they dove to their deaths from the windows of the Trade Towers was horrific.  Seeing the buildings come down, knowing the firemen and police officers that were in there was heartbreaking.  As the events unfolded in the following few hours and over the next several weeks was sobering. 

The Patriotism that swelled within the American people is something I had never witnessed. You could not buy an American Flag in a store, they were all sold out.  Politics didn’t matter at that time.  It didn’t matter what your skin color was, your style of life or your religious preference.  We were Americans and we were going to show the World we were not scared.  We could not be held down.

However, since then the politics and prejudices have slowly flowed back into the norm.  We don’t think about it as much.  Society decided not to show the images of people jumping from the buildings because all that it would do is continue to “anger” us.  I think maybe we need to stay just a bit “mad”.  I am not saying that we need to walk around in fear and worry every day.  In fact I feel the opposite.  We need to stay a little mad and keep it in our minds that we are never going to let this happen again.  If you get punched in the mouth by somebody, you don’t walk around in fear of that person.  However, I think you always harbor that thought and make damn sure you don’t let them have another shot at you.

People complain they are inconvenienced at the airport because of security checks.  I wonder if any of the people on those 4 planes would gripe because of a little longer wait in the security line.  People complain that “water boarding” and other types of interrogation techniques are inhumane and cruel.  I think taking loaded planes and flying them into buildings is a little on the cruel side.  It would be impossible for me to care less if 5000 people are “water boarded” to save a single American life.  We need to remain vigil in our fight.

It is not just for us, but for those who come after us.  I wonder sometimes if we have the stomach to do it.  It is not easy nor is it pleasant.  But it is necessary.  We must never forget.

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