Friday, September 11, 2015

Some Thoughts On 9/11

Today is September 11, 2015. It has been 14 years since Muslim terrorists crashed hijacked commercial airliners into three of four intended targets, including the Pentagon and the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York.

I remember that morning well. I was in a meeting when the first plane hit. When I returned to my office, my secretary told me a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center and I turned on the TV I had behind my desk. My immediate thought was “What a terrible, tragic accident. I wonder how it happened?”

Then I watched in horror as the second plane hit the second tower. It was pretty clear at that moment that it was a deliberate act. The only question at that moment was “Who?”

A third plane hit the Pentagon. But it was the fourth plane that gave us insight into what was going on.

Passengers in the fourth plane began making phone calls when their plane was hijacked. Because they were headed toward San Francisco, the plane had flown farther away from the intended target of the White House than the others. They were over Ohio when they finally turned around and headed toward Washington DC.

Passengers and crew on that plane formulated a plan to take the plane back from the hijackers. Some passengers were on their phones telling loved ones what was going on. A flight attendant was on the phone with her employer.

Once the passengers learned what had happened in New York and Washington D.C., they decided they were not going to allow the hijackers of their plane to destroy another target. They rushed the hijackers and the cockpit with the best of intentions. And while they succeeded in preventing the plane from hitting the White House, ultimately their attempt to retake the plane failed. The terrorist at the controls put the plane into a dive and it crashed into a field in Pennsylvania, killing everyone on board.

Islamic terrorists, funded by Osama bin Laden, planned and executed this attack on the United States of America that killed a total of 2,977 people on that day, and many others who died later from 9/11 related illnesses.

President George W. Bush went to ground zero on September 14th, three days after the attack. He spoke to the emergeny responders, those still searching for survivors and for bodies, in an epic speech.

"I can hear you!" he told them. "The rest of the world hears you! And the people – and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon."

Opinions about Bush's actions in the war on terror following 9/11 vary, but at least he took decisive action. He fought Al Qaeda, put in place an intelligence system that eventually lead to the killing of Osama bin Laden, (Obama loves to give himself the credit for that but it was waterboarding that gleaned the information of his whereabouts) and put into place an intelligence system that prevented more attacks on the United States.

Sadly, our current President pulled our troops out of the Middle East and turned it over to the terrorists. He tells the nation he is fighting terrorism with air strikes even as the pilots themselves are saying those limited air strikes are basically useless. President Obama won't even allow the words Islamic and/or Muslim to be used in the same phrase with the word terrorism. You can't beat an enemy you won't properly define – especially when you won't actually engage them.

Other nations in the Middle East are battling ISIS, the terror organization to which Obama gave Iraq and Syria. And the Obama administration criticizes them for doing so, whining that nations like Jordan, Egypt and Turkey aren't cooperating with his “60 nation coalition.” Vladimir Putin is now joining forces with Iran and Syria to fight against ISIS.

Putin has recently been flying bombers close to American airspace and a Russian spy ship was spotted off the coast of King's Bay, Georgia, the home of our Navy’s East Coast ballistic missile submarine fleet. It's as if Putin is pushing the limits to see what President Obama will do – or more likely what he won't do.

Around the world, in the war on terror, President Obama has become a joke and Putin is emerging as a world leader. Once he gets cozy with Iran and Syria, Russia will be an important world power again. And since he's already working to make arms deals with Iran, in spite of President Obama's so-called “great deal” with Iran on their nuclear capabilities, Putin is helping strengthen Iran just as much as Obama is.

Obama's failed leadership is changing not only the United States but the world. And it's not for the better.

On this 14th anniversary of that tragic day, I honor not only the innocent victims of the attack but expecially those first responders who lost their lives trying to save as many people as they could. It is a special kind of person who selflessly runs into danger instead of running away. I am grateful for all of you.

I'll close with the beautiful and now immortal words by Alan Jackson.

Where were you when the world stopped turning on that September day?
Were you in the yard with your wife and children
Or working on some stage in L.A.?
Did you stand there in shock at the sight of that black smoke
Risin' up against that blue sky?
Did you shout out in anger, in fear for your neighbor
Or did you just sit down and cry?

Did you weep for the children who lost their dear loved ones
And pray for the ones who don't know?
Did you rejoice for the people who walked from the rubble
And sob for the ones left below?
Did you burst out with pride for the red, white and blue
And the heroes who died just doin' what they do?
Did you look up to heaven for some kind of answer
And look at yourself and what really matters?

I'm just a singer of simple songs
I'm not a real political man
I watch CNN but I'm not sure I can tell you
The difference in Iraq and Iran
But I know Jesus and I talk to God
And I remember this from when I was young
Faith, hope and love are some good things He gave us
And the greatest is love

Where were you when the world stopped turning on that September day?
Were you teaching a class full of innocent children
Or driving down some cold interstate?
Did you feel guilty 'cause you're a survivor
In a crowded room did you feel alone?
Did you call up your mother and tell her you loved her?
Did you dust off that Bible at home?

Did you open your eyes, hope it never happened
Close your eyes and not go to sleep?
Did you notice the sunset the first time in ages
Or speak to some stranger on the street?
Did you lay down at night and think of tomorrow
Or go out and buy you a gun?
Did you turn off that violent old movie you're watchin'
And turn on "I Love Lucy" reruns?

Did you go to a church and hold hands with some strangers
Did you stand in line and give your own blood?
Did you just stay home and cling tight to your family
Thank God you had somebody to love?

I'm just a singer of simple songs
I'm not a real political man
I watch CNN but I'm not sure I can tell you
The difference in Iraq and Iran
But I know Jesus and I talk to God
And I remember this from when I was young
Faith, hope and love are some good things He gave us
And the greatest is love

You can listen to the song at the link below. God bless the United States of America!

1 comment:

  1. Great tribute LT! Thank you. Oh, and by the way, Allen Jackson was Chad's favorite country singer when he was little. If we only knew then. :)