Tuesday, September 12, 2006

9/12---Five Years Later

The events of 9/11/2001 still stagger me. I was seated in Shoneys on Bush River Road with an associate of mine. We were having a meeting, when we both realized that all eyes in the place were on the TV. There we watched with horror as the second airplane crashed into the South Tower of the World Trade Center. After awhile, we just went home. Nothing else mattered from that moment on. Within minutes, we went from discussing sales strategy to living in a world where our country was attacked by terrorists in the most unimaginable way. Like most of the country, I got my kids out of school and spent the rest of the day glued to the TV.

The next day, 9/12/2001, I felt numb. Like I had just awakened from a nightmare but it was still happening. Similar to the loss of a loved one, I expected to wake up and find that the twin towers were still there after all, and that the mind-blowing events of the previous day never happened.

No chance.

What was there, however, was the rebirth of the spirit of this great country. For at least one day, there were no Republicans or Democrats. There were no opinion polls. There was no racism (at least no black and white). We ransacked the local stores purchasing flags to display on our homes. We were sending a unified message to our enemies: that you can attack America, but you can NEVER beat us!

For one fateful day, September 11, 2001, we were Americans, one and all. No one could come between us. Heroes were born. At night we confidently told our frightened children, "Don't worry, President Bush is taking care of us."

Five years later, with great emotion, our Commander-in-Chief visited all the crash sites. He consoled family members of those lost five years ago. The final word on the news last night was, "Will it be enough for President Bush to win back the popularity he had five years ago?"

I do my best to leave politics out of my blog. Not today.

What has President Bush done wrong exactly? Is he sleeping with interns? Is he being investigated for shady real estate deals? All he has done for the last five years is try to protect us from another terrorist attack, and to rid the world completely of terrorism. This is an aggressive plan which will not be accomplished overnight. Many Americans feel that we should not be at war any longer. To them I say, where were you five years ago yesterday? Have we forgotten the thousands of people buried under the twin towers who never had a chance to escape? What about those airline passengers who were unwillingly crashed into the WTC Towers, the Pentagon, and Shanksville, PA? Do you think that they would approve of our nation's attitude?

Politics and religion stir up discussion more than anything else. That is not my intention here. I am only voicing one man's opinion, my own. I am willing to concede to the fact that there are many things which I do not know, including how to run a nation. I have two friends, Russ and John, who served in Iraq as Marines. They have both said to me that they do not regret one minute of their stay over there, and that they would go back if they were called. I have another friend who left his home each morning, drove to the air base at which he was stationed, boarded his fighter jet, and for 12 hours a day, remained in the cramped cockpit flying missions for his country. I asked him if he would rather do anything else with his life. His answer was a resounding "No."

The men and women on the front lines don't seem to have lost sight of why they are there. Neither should we.

As a Christian, I will continue to pray for our President and for the end of this conflict. As a pastor, I will continue to preach and teach God's word. As an American, I will continue to support our President and our troops. As a Christian-American-Pastor, I will always pray that it will not take another horrible tragedy such as 9/11 to unite us as a country again, but that going forward we will do so because it is right.
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