Never Forget. That was one of the many phrases burned into American minds 12 years ago, today. Never forget the fallen first responders. Never forget the sacrifice they made. Never forget their families. Never forget what happened to the city of New York, the Pentagon, the people in those planes and buildings. Never forget.
Today, facebook will be full of profile picture changes. Today, politicians will remember this day. News stations will talk about it. But what I hope is really talked about is what has happened to America since then.
One of the over arching themes of our response to the terror attacks was that we couldn’t let the terrorists win. Today, Al Quaida causes havoc around the world. Bin Laden is dead. But his evil work goes on. Today, Americans are surveilled by secret agencies of their government without warrant or reason. Today, our Congress allocates more money to wars in the middle east than to our roads and schools.
Twelve years later, we stand on the brink of yet another war, our standing in the world as “the Good Guys” is weak, our economy is weak, our government is weak and our debts are huge. So, have we won yet?
Today is a day of remembrance. Of course we must remember all those who died on 9-11. We must never let die the memory of those who have since lost their lives or been maimed in our subsequent wars.
And most of all, we must start to remember that America was founded on principals of freedom, a system of government that was elected by the people, for the people. It is a system of checks and balances that is being eroded in the name of security. Most of all America has been known as a people that worked hard, did good and cared about the world. How did we allow one evil little man and his small band of extremists threaten our way of being?
No matter your race, gender, political conviction or educational level, we must demand that our government stop being directed by lobbies of defense, Wall Street, insurance, oil, agriculture, unions and others and start doing what is right for our country and the world. Stop yelling at each other and start yelling at our elected officials and this process can begin. The sacrifices of those we lost twelve years ago won’t go down as the end of America as we once knew it but the start of an even better of America.