Eight years ago today I was a Lance Corporal in the United States Marine Corps. I had begun this day like every other day. I was serving as my platoon’s Training NCO (non-commissioned officer) and was organizing results from correspondence courses that our marines were taking to further their military and academic educations.
Our platoon buffoon came down from the maintenance bay and told me that a plane had crashed into one of the towers of the world trade center. I told him to go and find some work to do and stop messing around. He replied that he was serious and if I didn’t believe him I could go look for myself. Still not believing, I went up to the maintenance bay so I could see what was going on and then chew his rear end when I found out he was messing with me.
When I arrived in the maintenance office I could hardly believe what I was seeing. By this time both towers had been hit and were burning. I sat as I watched the towers fall and then I heard the report that the pentagon had been hit. Many of the marines, and at this time it was several who had gathered in that tiny office to see what was happening, decided that a good thing to do was to go back to the barracks and start packing. It was very clear to everyone that was present we would be going somewhere, so we may as well start getting ready.
There wasn’t any of the platoon staff around, so we went to the barracks and found them in the company office gathered around a television just like we were. We told them why we came back to the barracks and what we planned to do and they said that was alright with them. So we began to pack. We filled our sea bags with all of our gear and waited. Someone had attacked us and killed 3,000 Americans, and as marines we couldn’t tolerate that. We wanted to take the fight to whom ever had done this to us.
On September, 12 we had not gone anywhere, we did know who the enemy was at this point and we knew where we had to go to make them pay. We saw on the news, Americans, Democrats and Republicans, white and black, rich and poor demanding justice for the deaths of those 3,000 people from the World Trade Center.
I have never personally seen America more united in a common purpose then on that day. On that day we all stood together. That day race, religion, nor political affiliations mattered. That day America demanded justice for the wrongful deaths of 3,000 innocent people.
That is why I have this blog. To attempt in some way to unify us once again. To reintroduce to Americans the principles and values that have always set us apart from the rest of the world. To find a way for us to regain control of an out of control federal government, one that has been out of control for far longer then George W. Bush’s presidency.
Americans are waking up. We are listening now to what is happening in Washington D.C. We now know that we need to pay attention to the things our leaders and their advisers say and believe. We know that increased government spending isn’t the answer. We know that, nationwide, the U.S. congress’ health care reform bill is unpopular in part because Americans are tired of congress passing and the president signing bills that we do not want implemented.
We again are finding that common ground. Unfortunately the subject of American ire is directed against its own government. But as Americans have done in the past, so we shall do now, we will fight for what is right and this time it will not be a war of battles but a war of principles and values. That is a war that the American people will always win, never matter how tough the foe nor how smart the adversary. We will overcome.
Think today on the soldiers, marines, sailors, and airmen who are putting their lives on the line so that we may be free. Think about those who died in the attacks on September 11, 2001. Think about the freedoms we enjoy. Think on the United States Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. Think on he principles and values that have made this country great.
I wish all of you well and pray you never forget that you are an American.