Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Somber Anniversary

In four days from today our country will be 
observing the tenth anniversary of a most fateful
day, the day terrorists hijacked four passenger
jets and flew them into the World Trade center in
New York and the Pentagon on Washington. The
United States Navy SEALS, masters of covert war,
finally tracked down and killed the mastermind of
the horrible attacks, but the sense of payback
has not diminished the deep pain that we as a 
nation still feel, especially those who lost family
and friends in that dark episode of our history.
One plane, likely destined for another D.C.
target, was waylaid by a handful of courageous
passengers who seized control of the plane. It
crashed into a Pennsylvania field killing all 
aboard, but the plane never reached the target that
the terrorists intended, which would have resulted
in yet more deaths of innocent people.

Your faithful Peasant still remembers the morning
of September 11, 2001. I was living in Saint Paul
at the time, and was in the midst of preparing to
move back to my home town. I awakened
early to listen to the news and a local talk show
while having a little lie-in. What I heard was
something akin to Orson Welles' classic radio
broadcast from the 1930s "War of the Worlds"!
I could not at all believe what I was hearing!
I became wide awake and turned on my TV
to see whatever live coverage could be had.

I shall never forget what I saw: throngs of people
running from the towers, whose middle sections
were ablaze. It looked like a scene from a block-
buster action movie. I learned that a plane had 
struck one tower; another plane would strike the
other tower a short time later, a terrible sight
which I in fact witnessed via my TV.
Sometime later that morning, word came that the
planes were hijacked by terrorists and flown on
purpose into the towers, and another into the
Pentagon in Washington. I got on my phone and
called several of my local friends to ask them if
they were listening to their radios or watching
their TVs; those that were not I told each of them
to pour a strong drink and tune in to the horror.
We were all at a loss for words. We were not 
around when Pearl Harbor was attacked by the
Japanes in the Second World War, so we had no 
experience in own lives to which we could com-
pare to what was unfolding before us that morning,
but we knew that there was going to be hell to pay
for whoever committed this attrocity. We would
certainly be going to war.

Over 3,000 people perished that day, at the bloody
hands of the terrorists that carried out the massive
crime. We did indeed go to war, and we are still
fighting that war, the War on Terror we call it.
The evil slime that thought up this terrible crime
was a practitioner of a particular strain of Islam,
which will not accept any other form of that faith
nor accept any other faith, nor accept any other
way of life, period. The United States, being
a staunch supporter of Israel, a long-time thorn
in the rear of its hostile Islamic neighbors, must
have been on the twisted, hate-drenched
minds of the terrorist cabal. But what we as a
nation have demonstrated for friend and foe to
see, is that we as a nation shall stand by our
friends --- regardless of the risks to ourselves.
And by the same token, we shall stand up to our
enemies, and shall prosecute them when they
have wronged us, as some of them have most
greviously wronged us on September 11, 2001.
We showed that it is right to have confidence in
United States as a friend, and that there are grave
consequences in making us a foe.

We shall, of course, never forget the events of
ten years ago. We shall never forget the loss of
our friends, our relations, our associates, our
neighbors, and of course the brave, selfless,
dedicated police, firefighters, and first responders
who marched into hell, never to return.
Dispatching the monster that orchestrated
the bloody events of that day most certainly
did not and could not bring those good people
back to us. But it put the world on notice that
our great country has backbone and resolve.
We can handle adversity, we can handle tragedy,
and come back all the stronger for the fiery test.
Whle this is bad news for those who wish us ill,
it is joyous news for those who see us as the
world's best hope for peace, for stability, and
for freedom in an increasingly troubled, 
uncertain, and unstable world. And it is especially
wonderful news for us, her citizens, who want so
much to have confidence in our nation and her
strength of not just might, but of character and


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