Here is the display set up to commemorate the anniversary of the September 11th attacks. This was set up in the Palace Deli in the International Zone.
Today marks the somber sixth anniversary of the September 11th attacks. As our nation takes the time to remember the fallen on that day, we still find ourselves embroiled in the war on terror. This wasn’t a war of our choosing, but one thrust upon us by an insidious enemy that targets innocent civilians. Terror hit home and we all waited to see how we would respond.
The days immediately following the attacks were filled with governmental bluster and chest pounding Americans filled with pride in their country. Our flag flew from everywhere. Citizens put them on their cars, houses and wore them on their lapels. We were attacked, and we came together as a country as I had never seen before.
The American Spirit was back.
On October 7th our response came. Soldiers, participating in an airborne assault, jumped into Afghanistan to strike at terrorist camps hidden in the mountains there. These Soldiers, heroes in there own right, quickly donned hats from the New York Police and Fire Departments to pay their respects for the fallen heroes of September 11th and continued their mission. Buoyed by the sound of war drums and the calls for justice, and yes retribution, the gears of the most powerful war machine on earth had moved. How much and how quickly those gears would turn changed our country and shocked the world.
Now years later we can look back on that day and see some of the results. American pride has waned since then. Divided politically over this war, our citizens often seem more at odds with themselves than with the “enemy.” Our government has once again returned to the standard party rivalries. Our military, however, still stands proud and carries the colors into each day.
Brave men and women serve valiantly in both Iraq and Afghanistan, often being separated from their loved ones for greater than 15 months. Every last one of these individuals voluntarily enlisted to serve our country. Some urged on by there own sense of patriotism, and others trying to make a better life for themselves. I know of one Soldier who enlisted because September 11th, 2001 was the worst birthday he had ever had.
I am currently deployed to Iraq with that Soldier.
Thankfully, we enjoy a great deal of support from our citizens, even if the war does not. Despite its unpopularity, The Global War on Terrorism is unfortunately necessary. Each day that a car bomb, IED or suicide attack happens here or Afghanistan is potentially one less that happens at home. I want my family and yours to be safe.
I understand there are many arguments for and against this conflict, but all I ask is that you take the time today to remember that day 6 years ago, how you felt, and give thought to those that lost their lives.