Many people say that seven is supposed to be a lucky number, something that you carry around with you like a rabbit’s foot, or that jersey you always wear when your team really needs that big victory. But tomorrow, seven has a much more sobering and somber meaning; Thursday marks the 7th year anniversary of the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City. Some people certainly will ask the question, when are we going to let this go? Why even talk about September 11th, when all it will do will be reopening those old wounds? My answer to that is that we must talk about it, and we must reflect on that day, because for my generation, September 11th will forever be the life altering event that occurs to every generation, much like Pearl Harbor and the Kennedy and King assassinations were beforehand.
We will all remember exactly where we were and what we were doing from the moment that we realized that this was no accident, but that our nation had been attacked. I was still in high school at that point, and around 9:00, one of my friends came up running to our group and told us that a plane had just flown into the World Trade Center. We dismissed her telling us as another useless drama story, and went upon our day. By the time I got to my first class, the second plane had hit the World Trade Center, and it had been reported that the Pentagon had been hit as well. It was clear by then that we were under attack. It was then that our class prayed (Catholic school, don’t get too excited) for the victims and the attackers. But as I watched the Towers collapse on television to the screams of the people in New York and saw people leaping to their death, I did not want prayers and forgiveness; what I wanted was plain, simple vengeance, just like most of the American people.
Seven years later, 9/11 is able to come and go without any real mention of the attacks on our nation. The American people, having been kept safe from farther attacks by President Bush (though the Left will never admit that little factoid) have once again grown complacent in terms of national security. With September 11th firmly out of the minds of America, we have moved on with our lives, leaving only the families and friends who have directly been affected to remember the tragedy that happened that day. However, I believe that we must remember as Americans how we felt that day. For a time, America was united not as liberal or conservative, red state or blue state, but as the United States. We were all New Yorkers, all Washingtonians, and all Pennsylvanians. We waved our flags, hugged our neighbors, and came together as a country, and as a country we understood and knew what had to happen after the tears were swept aside and the hugs were over. The ragtag thugs who dared to attack us would have to face the wrath of the world’s strongest, most disciplined, and most advanced military on the planet. Bin Laden and his thugs who supported the politics of terror would have to be eradicated, and on top of that, any nations with any intentions of doing harm to the United States would be dealt with in a similar severe manner.
As we sit here on September 9th, 2008, we are in the same spectacle that we were in on September 10, 2001. The same attitude of complacency exists; the same pervasive attitude that we should not have invaded Iraq, that we should not focus on winning the Global War on Terror; that isolationism truly can work. Ladies and gentlemen, the century for isolationism has passed, and with a global economy comes a global connection to our enemies and to our allies. America has been snidely accused of having an “arrogant bunker mentality”, and we have been told that we brought the September 11th attacks on ourselves-and those are just the Republican attacks. Liberals have come up with everything from the fact that this is the result of our support for Israel’s sovereignty to Bush blew up the World Trade Center for the gold underneath it, like some sort of crazed leprechaun. Seven years later, it seems that we no longer remember why the War on Terror started in the first place.
Many people conveniently forget as they point out that Iraq is the reason we were attacked that we were not in any country on September 11th, 2001. We had pulled out of places like Somalia under the orders of Clinton, leading Bin Laden and Al Qaeda to refer to the United States as a paper tiger, and allowing him to fund the 9/11 plots with the time he received to flee after Clinton refused to take Bin Laden from Sudan because “he didn’t have anything to charge him with, despite the fact that Bin Laden was responsible for bombing our African embassies and that Al Qaeda had flourished in Africa and the Middle East. But with Clinton being too busy taking care of his hobby as a cigar connoisseur, America was left to “put some ice on it” after 9/11.
However, instead of the ice and another intern that Clinton would have recommended as national security, George W. Bush in one of the few positive things that came out of his presidency decided instead to apply a severe amount of ass kicking to our enemies. In Afghanistan, where the terrorist, Al Qaeda sympathizing Taliban lived, the government was uprooted and told to take their women beating, freedom hating act to another part of the world. In Iraq, Saddam Hussein was captured, hung, and democracy has slowly but surely and continuously grown. Al Qaeda, which has called the war in Iraq their central front against the United States, is being defeated to the point that they are throwing temper tantrums to their own Muslim radicals and asking why they are not joining jihad. It seems that we’ve killed so many terrorists, Allah’s running out of virgins and incentives for the jihadists. In both Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States will declare victory.
However, we face a growing threat in the form of Iran, which is insistent on developing a nuclear weapon that it will no doubted use to attempt to create a nuclear holocaust on the state of Israel. The president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has stated repeatedly his intention to wipe Israel off of the face of the Earth, and it is not in our nation’s interest, or in interest of any other free Democratic nation in the West or in the world to allow a radical Muslim country to become a nuclear power. We must not wait to react to a nuclear attack on our nation or on one of our allies. As we remember September 11th, we must remember why we had to fight. It is one thing to say you support freedom, and another thing to have to defend it. The United States is the greatest country in the world, and we must never let the memories of those who died be forgotten, nor why we had to defend their honor and memory.