…how could I not? We started two wars over it, I’ve lost 6,280 of my brothers and sisters in arms over it.
The problem is that I’m deeply ashamed of my country over the whole thing.
One of the wars we instituted over it, we simply declared victory and started pulling out, leaving the society we set on its head in the lurch to fend for itself before it was ready.
The second war we haven’t even bothered to declare victory, we’re just tucking our tails and coming home with nothing to show for it but graves in military cemeteries.
Both wars proved beyond doubt that we simply do not have the national will to fight a war with conviction. Right or wrong, when the decision to go to war is made, it needs to be all-in. Get over there, kill people and break things until the enemy is subjugated and then allow the politicians and bureaucrats to take over and rebuild a functioning government. We can’t seem to do that any more. We are so afraid of being seen as less than civil, we don’t have the will to do what it takes to win a war any more. We enmesh our military in ridiculous edicts and restrictions that make it impossible for them to do their jobs and endanger their lives needlessly and don’t even give them the CHANCE to win. With our current national will, we would have lost WWII without a doubt.
Back at home, we’ve used it as an excuse to abrogate liberty and institute police-state policies that our forefathers would have risen up in revolution against…and we meekly follow along with them like the sheep we’ve become.
We gladly give up individual liberty and personal responsibility for a fleeting and purely imaginary feeling of security.
At the site of the most significant attack of that day, we succumbed to the evil and (after years of bickering about it) refused to rebuild. Even worse, we reinforce our failing there by leaving the gaping wounds in the ground in some sort of misguided attempt at memorializing. All we have memorialized there is our failure and weakness.
At the second most significant site, the memorial plan called for the entire site to resemble the very defining symbol of the militant islamics who perpetrated the acts against us. The public outcry resulted in a change of the plans, but the stench of the controversy still surrounds it.
Our nation has become more and more divided along economic, racial, ethnic and religious lines. Group is pitted against group, race against race and class against class because a body of people divided can be controlled, subjugated, ruled. And we willingly…nay, enthusiastically…play right into the hands of those who would rule us.
We demand that someone else accept responsibility when the consequences of our own decisions come down on us and simply declare that the fruits of another’s labor, effort and ability are our constitutional rights and expect the government to force them to provide for us.
Our national economy is a house of cards that WILL collapse at some point…and instead of biting the bullet ourselves, undertaking the many years of hard work and sacrifices it would take to make things right, we just kick the can further down the road and hope that it is our children or grandchildren that are forced to clean up our mess rather than having to face it ourselves.
No, as a nation, there is not a whole lot about our post 9/11 history to be proud of.
So yes, I still remember the horrendous act of war perpetrated against innocent members of our society like it was yesterday. I still remember the heroism of the NYPD, FDNY, and the everyday citizens who stepped up on that day and did us proud. I remember the sacrifices of the men and women in uniform…up to and including the ultimate sacrifice…who wrote a blank check to an undeserving nation.
But I see what we’ve become, what we’ve done and, more significantly, not done, and I feel that we as a nation have failed to live up to the sacrifices and heroism of our countrymen.
Yes, I remember 9/11…and I grieve for the nation I once knew and was once willing to die for; a nation that seemingly is no more.