Friday, September 11, 2009

Remember; Be Angry

I choose to remember 9/11. Eight years ago this morning, on September 11, 2001, I was in the Pentagon. I was at Staff Call in an office on C Ring between Corridors 5 and 6. Shortly after sitting down, we were jarred as American Airlines Flight 77 slammed into the building. My friend who was with me swears that he heard jet engines accelerating before impact. Those I was with and I evacuated safely through the smoke, dust, and debris outside of our office door. I remember that several hundred feet from where I sat, Brigadier General Maude was in his E Ring office. He was being briefed by three Booze-Allen contractors. His office was very near the point of impact. All four occupants perished. I remember that two secretaries were taking a smoke break in the area between B and C ring. One had just flicked her Bic to light up when the right engine came crashing through C ring. Her first thought was that she had caused an explosion. Both she and her companion evacuated safely with a true story to tell the grandchildren. Remember. When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, President Roosevelt proclaimed it to be a day that would forever live in infamy. We were outraged as a nation, and, for the next four years, our battle cry in the Pacific was "Remember Pearl Harbor!" Black and white images of wreckage burning, and the tower of the Battleship Arizona silhouetted against a cloud of black smoke fueled our outrage and strengthened our national resolve to achieve victory. September 11, 2001 is no less than December 7, 1941 a day that will live forever in infamy. Yet one year afterward, images of the twin towers burning were deemed "too disturbing" to be shown on the evening news. Now, eight years later, our national resolve to triumph can barely be detected. Have we forgotten the images of our fellow citizens casting themselves from the towers rather than burn up inside? Have we forgotten our obligation to those who perished? Remember. Remember that these attacks were evil and be angry. Remember that on September 11, 2001 our nation was attacked without cause. Be angry that , unlike Pearl Harbor, these attacks were mostly directed not against our military but against innocent and unsuspecting civilians. Remember that on September 11, 2001 we were peaceful and secure. Be angry at those who took our peace and security from us. Be very angry at those who forced us now to live in perpetual distrust and wariness. Remember that the attacks of September 11, 2001 were evil acts perpetrated by evil men with evil intent. Be angry at the perpetrators and those who support them. Be resolved to defeat them and everything they stand for. Remember that we owe a solemn obligation to those who perished. Be angry at those who would reduce what should be a day of solemn remembrance and renewed resolution into a day of service similar to Earth Day or Arbor Day. Be angry and resolve to oppose those who continue to plan acts of evil against our nation and our freedom. Resolve to oppose them until your last breath. All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing. Remember 9/11. Be angry and maintain your anger. Resolve with me that evil will never be allowed to triumph.