I Remember…

I Remember…

I don’t need memes or social media graphics to express the sorrow and sympathy I still feel over the attacks on our country on this date, already 17 years ago.

Who doesn’t remember where they were or what they were doing when those images commandeered our television screens?  I certainly do.  I was president of Fishing Hot Spots at the time here in Rhinelander and my office was right across the hall from our break room.  I could see the small TV we had in there when the first news of the World Trade Tower explosion occurred.  Initially it wasn’t known it was hit by a jet, commandeered by terrorists and flown directly into the building.

Then, we watched in absolute horror as another aircraft struck the second building.  By this time my staff was gathered around watching.  In less than two hours both buildings collapsed.  And within that time we were learning of other attacks.  A jet crashed into the Pentagon.  Another, supposedly headed for the Capitol, dropped into a field in Pennsylvania after passengers acted on their own to re-take the plane.  I sent everyone home.

The days that followed solidified a nation and it’s a damn shame it had to take something like this.  While my heart ached for the thousands who died and were injured, I also felt hate, pure hate for those who dared to venture onto our soil and pull this off.

As time wore on the conspiracies circled and I watched closer than most.  Some of it still doesn’t make sense.  We’ll never know.  All I do know is there are factions out there who want to do it again.

Terrorism is NOT a political issue.  It’s an AMERICAN issue and there’s a big difference.  I may never live to see it and I pray my kids and grandkids do, the day when like-minded people work together to put this country on a path to peace here at home and around the world.  There are a lot more of US than there are of THEM.  It may sound simple, but that’s a pretty good start in my opinion.

Eisenhower was President when I was born and I grew up watching and later becoming a student of politics.  Being in the media it provided me access to people who were becoming increasingly unapproachable.  I had the opportunity to sit, one-on-one with two presidents, Carter and Reagan and chat.  We, as a country once had the admiration and respect of the world.  Things have changed.  It may be another simplistic view but I firmly believe there’s someone out there who works hard at their job, cares for their family, gives back to their community and gets involved.  They have ideals, goals, morals and a drive to make things around them better for everyone.  What they don’t have is enough money.  Look at political campaigns today.  The hundreds of millions spent to get ONE person into a position of power.  There’s a farmer in Iowa or a teacher in Oregon who’d make a great president.  But they don’t stand a chance.  Imagine what that money could mean for education, health care or any number of causes.

We are allowing things to happen here that can hurt us, for the first time from within.  We are tearing down pieces of our history to be politically correct.  We are dumbing down our students by banning literature that defined a time in our lives.  We are allowing huge companies to tell us how to live.  We are seeing a racial divide the likes of which harken back to much darker times.  How’s that expression go?  “Those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it”.

Much has happened since 9/11/01.  It’s time to look at what happened and learn from it.  It’s time to recognize the fact we did heal and it was done together.  It’s time to get back to that basic belief there’s good in everyone and if they’re treated as equals, as fellow Americans, we can do anything we set our minds to.  It’s time remind Washington they’re working, “For the People”.

This all began with the senseless death of thousands in an instant.  Never forget…