Archive for April, 2008

Remembering Why This Election Is So Important

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008

I wrote this over a year ago because I believed it was very important to remember why the national elections are more important than it has ever been since the last time America had been attacked. 

If there had never been a Vietnam where millions of men came home to accusations of “baby killers”. If America had never traded the idea of peace for hard fought honor and keeping their word to 2 million Cambodians who died believing that we would not abandon them in their fight against the communists. If the world had never seen what a bunch of young reporters heady with their ability to manipulate public opinion could do to change wars, foreign policy, and world economics.  Then what happened on that September morning could be considered another Pearl Harbor or Alamo and which party wins the White House or controls Congress would not really matter for we would be one nation intent on winning the war perpetrated against us.
 
As both sides of the only other viable party that can win the White House, debate, I hope that everyone will take a moment to again remind themselves of that fateful day and how you felt when you learned that YOUR nation had been hit.  Please put your thoughts to a post and share.
 
For it is the one thing we CAN share…the one thing that for one shining moment in time, UNITED this nation.

I called it:

One Moment

This is the story of that fateful day in September of 2001. Now you may wonder why I am writing this some 6 months before the 6th anniversary of 9/11. I do so because today and the day after, Congress is doing whatever it can to destroy the only man the people who want us dead, fears. They are being helped by hardliners intent on dividing the GOP and resurrecting among her carcass a party that is unelectable.

It is as if 9/11 never happened.

In 2001, I was a part of a group that hailed from 4 foreign countries: Canada, UK, Germany, and Australia.During our down time, most of these people would join the Americans in our group in a wonderful pastime of knocking our prospective governments, particularly the U.S.A. because she was the big guy (translation: bully) on the world stage. I paid little heed to this hobby for no reason than it simply failed to interest me. I didn’t care what some politician did or didn’t do nor did I care with whom he/she did it with. A female Secretary of State didn’t impress me one iota. And other than the cases that involved my pet issue, I really found it hard to get all worked up about anything the Supreme Court decided.

On that September morning, I was awaken by a colleague from the U.K.He advised me to turn on my t.v.  His voice was solemn and almost expectant; the kind of tone people used when they expect to deal with something they really rather not.

“Is this for real?” I asked when they replayed the two towers crumbling to the ground…it looked like some kind of movie stunt.

“Yes.” he replied, again that pause, that expectant tone that said, please don’t get too emotional.

I watched for a bit, listening to the reporter. Finally, I said, “I’ve got to get dress; I’ve got a client that is intent on making my life miserable.”

“You’re going to work?” he asked incredulously, the first crack in an otherwise deliberately controlled voice.

I frowned, “Why not?”

“Well, there might be…50 thousands deaths, maybe more. YOUR people.”

“Look,” I said, getting pretty angry. I disliked it when things began to unravel. I like knowing what’s happening and why. And failing that, the probability and the possibility of avoiding negative consequences. “Every year thousands of people die…in hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes. That’s life.”

Silence. I didn’t care. So, I can be pretty cold sometimes. Well, I wasn’t in some popularity contest. If you like what I do, you buy. If you don’t, you go elsewhere. Simple.

I live in the country and the drive to town is long and pretty hectic. Only today, the freeway is rather empty. Except at the openings to the various military bases. There, long lines of cars waited to get through what was now heavily secured gates.

By the time I parked my car in the multi garage complex, I was shaking and I didn’t know why. I made my way to the front and climbed the stairs to the building where I worked. Waikiki is one of the hottest tourist attractions in the world, yet on this day, all I saw were two soldiers, perhaps National guardsmen, walking down the street carrying rifles.

I was all alone in the elevator and the ride up seemed to take forever.

My phone was ringing by the time I let myself in. I’m not sure why but I was really surprised when it turned out to be my Canadian client from h*ll. “Did you hear?” I began, then stopped. I could hear the panic in my voice. I swallowed hard and tried again. “My country was attacked.”

And just like that, with zero warning, I realized that I actually loved America. I mean sappy, this is the greatest country in the world kind of loved America. Tears were falling down my cheeks and real grief for those who had been killed began to churn in the pit of my stomach.

I remember thinking of the war stories of my elderly relatives and wondering if we too would have to blacken our windows and ration our food.

In the days that followed, strange things happened. People went to church, children prayed in school, Congress stood on the steps of the Capital and sang God Bless America.

And the courts said “so what” and “too bad” to the ACLU and all those anti-Christian groups.

Cops, Firemen, and soldiers were heroes again.

And for one shiny moment, this nation came together.

For some of us, 9/11 changed everything.

For others, 9/11 only changed … one moment.