September 12, 2011

September, 12, 2011...

Ten years and one morning ago, America woke to a new nation and to the realization that we would never be the same. September 11, 2001 made us all realize there are others in this world that have forgotten that we are the United States of America. But are we still? Are we really?

As I drove to work this morning, the crisp feel of autumn was in the air. I had the windows opened slightly, the radio was off and my mind was reliving that horrific day so long ago. I saw the world going on about its business like nothing was out of the ordinary and from what I took in, it seems most everyone has moved on. 

On September 12, 2001, I recall seeing flags everywhere. They were on buildings and on signs, there were messages written in shoe polish in peoples car windows and on make-shift signs that proudly reflected sayings like “We will never forget” and “God bless America” and “USA”. I looked for any of those things this morning and regretfully, I didn’t see any of them.

I don’t like to say that it’s because people have forgotten or are lazy or just don’t care, but we must face the truth, those are the reasons why those visible memorials weren’t visible for some in this country. Some in this country could care less about the importance of remembering national tragedies.

I would have loved to have woken up today, in New York City. I would love to have walked up Fifth Avenue and then over to the Financial District and finally to Central Park. I would like to see how New Yorker's spent this day. I admit we, as Texans, have a bit of an ongoing and unspoken “friendly feud” with the Empire State. We poke fun at New York and they poke right back, but inside, we respect each other deeply. There is a bond between New York and Texas, between California and Iowa and Minnesota and Arizona and that bond is one of pride of country and being Americans.

On September 12, 2001, there were souls nationwide grieving, crying and in despair for their brothers and sisters in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C. We weren’t Floridians or Virginians or Dakotans, we were Americans. For a period of time in the early fall of 2001, America was one, visibly, emotionally and most importantly, nationally. Members of Congress set aside political party and belief systems and actually gathered together in prayer for the healing of an injured country. And in today’s political spectrum that seems almost unbelievable and impossible to pull off. On that day, did we all gather together lifting prayers to Heaven because we thought that was the right thing to do? Or was it that the true Judeo-Christian belief system of a nation manifested itself without regard of the fallout that would surely come from unbelievers and those among us that have no patience for all things religious? I’m convinced it’s the latter.

In the days and weeks that followed the attack, I had no worries of how we would move on from such a tragedy. Americans have always had the ability to rise from the ashes in the face of great adversity and tragedy. But today, I have to say, I’m worried about our country.

We’ve become so “politically correct” and afraid to face politically flammable subjects that I believe the United States of America has seen its better days. No longer does our government try to “teach a man to fish”, instead it’s easier to “give that man a fish” each month without any output on his or her part and to keep the political fallout to a minimum. Oh, and it's politically correct too. God forbid that we ask someone to actually give back to the country that gives so much. The words of John F Kennedy “Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country”, no longer echo as a cry to give your heart and soul to America. Sadly that famous quote has been reversed and its counter-productive meaning is deeply woven into the fabric of this society now. We have become a nation of “me and I” and a growing demographic believes the federal government owes them a home, an income and free health care.  We are in perilous times and I believe America is on the verge of “imploding” as a direct result of the new “me” society and political correctness.

What does all of that have to do with remembering 9-11? I believe that being “politically correct” prevented us from identifying those responsible for the attacks on 9-11. I believe being “politically correct” has reduced us to being molested at the hands of the federal government when flying, because our government is afraid of “racially profiling” someone that fits the criteria of a terrorist. Pardon me, but if profiling a group of individuals determined to kill as many Americans as they can before they meet their own demise, I say begin profiling tomorrow. And I'm very sorry that it just so happens that the majority of the ones that want to kill and maim American's just happen to be from the most violent parts of the Middle East.

We’ve become soft as a nation and every country in this world knows that we will only go so far to protect our interests. After that point, America and Americans don’t matter anymore, what matters is how other countries view us. Political Correctness has opened the lid on Pandora’s Box in America and not only has it made us vulnerable as a nation, it has shortened our memory of our dead that were sacrificed in the name of political correctness.

America is at a turning point. We have the ability to move forward as the great nation we’ve always been or to continue to move toward becoming a third-world nation. And in my most humble opinion there are many things we could do to get America back to where she used to be. I won’t go on about most of the reasons, but I will just say, remembering all that have made the ultimate sacrifice is a good start. We normally show our respects on the day that we are honoring, but wouldn’t it be great if each of us woke up every morning and the first thought that entered our minds was “Thank God for all that sacrificed for me and thank you God for letting me born an American in The United States of America”…

"I may not get much done, but I sure am slow"...