I remember it like it was yesterday. At that time I managed a bank branch in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, which was a top ten site from Cold War days for priority for destruction in nuclear war since it was where the atomic bomb was created. Under unknown attack that morning, the city was under major alarm with parts of it being fully shut down.
I remember the resolve of our nation. I remember our president rallying us to face the crisis as our armed forces were ready to protect us. The job they did over the next several years was amazing as military operations go. We subdued our enemies. The danger only lingered because they do not fight like men. They hide and blow up women and children. They rarely fight normal warfare on the battlefield as they are so incompetent at it.
Then years passed. Politics reared its ugly head. Our resolve waivered. Those who were heroes were made out to be something else as the age of selfish desire was born anew.
Then a new president consistently couldn’t tell the good guys from the bad guys. Many of my friends are convinced he is himself a secret Muslim. At the least he caters to them in a way that overlooks our losses on 9/11 and defrauds those who sacrificed to protect us.
Finally, in 14 years we have fully lost the plot. Schools around the country where Christianity is more forbidden than ever often teach Muslim doctrine to make sure we are inclusive, culturally sensitive, and accepting while we, of course, deny what is essentially American. We have to jail one county clerk whose conscience forbids her from signing off on a homosexual marriage while some communities seriously entertain the idea of Sharia law. This lunancy reopened old wounds too. A race war that had made such great progress was redefined as if no progress had ever been made. As would be expected in such a downward spiral, the very police who put their lives on the line are now the bad guys too.
Finally, we have reached the bottom of flipping over all we learned on 9/11 with this new Iran deal. I use the word “deal” lightly as I could hardly call anything a deal that gave you nothing while giving the other side all they want. In car trading that would be charity, but in the life-and-death elements of a post-9/11 world it is treason. In the process, we are throwing one of our greatest allies, Isreal, under the bus. They are more in danger of a nuclear bomb striking them with this ludicrous deal and will likely be forced to go alone with our current president’s criticism–a much harsher criticism than I had ever seen him give Iran. This is not to mention my thoughts of God’s disapproval of our forsaking Israel.
So as I think of 9/11 I still celebrate what is best about America in thinking of how we faced the crisis then. My patriotism still wants to feel what it felt then. I still hurt for all the suffering of that day. I still marvel at the firemen, police officers, and others who responded so selflessly that day. I remain full of gratitude to the soldiers who took the battle off our soil and to our enemies. I still tip my hat to all the wounded warriors and the families who had to bury their loved ones that we might be safe. It breaks my heart today to see such sacrifice misused. Perhaps 9/11 should now be a day of national prayer and mourning as we toss away our gains as if they were nothing. We often say “never forget” but as a country as a whole I fear we already have.