Where were you when the world stopped turning…?
By LPR Staff
Although I”m not a country music fan as a rule, there are some songs that I can”t help but stop and listen to. And there are some times when the songs I hear have more impact than others.
I got in my car the other day to discover the last person to drive it had left the radio on a country music station, and the Alan Jackson hit about Sept. 11 star
ted playing. Suddenly, my memories of 9-11-01 became wildly vivid, and because this week is the Fourth of July, and because several of my friends have served, or are serving in the Middle East, it had special meaning.
I had been working for a family law and criminal defense firm in Austin for less than a month. I drove to work that morning, and heard a report that a plane, possibly a private plane, had flown into one of the Twin Towers in lower Manhattan. No one really knew what was going on. I was at the corner of IH-35 and Seventh Street.
The pop radio station I routinely listened to continued with the reports, and by the time I reached my office on San Antonio at Eighth Street in downtown Austin, the second plane had hit. The prevailing concept in my office building was confusion. The confusion continued through the morning.
One of the attorneys I worked for had a television in his office, and our entire staff stayed glued to it for most of the morning. The phone didn”t ring. The door didn”t open. We just watched.
I made one phone call — to my mother.
“Mommy, what”s happening?”
I was one day past my 27th birthday, yet she was “Mommy,” and the only person on Earth who had any chance of helping me making sense of the chaos in the world at that moment.
She didn”t know what was going on, either.
None of us did.
That was almost six years ago, and I remember exactly everything about that day.
Now, as I reflect on the Fourth of July, America”s Independence Day, and the continued chaos that plagues the world, I wonder…
I wonder if those that protest the war in Iraq, those that demean our soldiers and condemn our government, have memories that vivid.
I wonder if those that would decry our attempts to free a nation understand how valuable our freedom is.
And I wonder how many people actually care.
If people cared, five American soldiers dying the same day Paris Hilton was released from jail would catch the headline, not a Page 3 blurb.
If people cared, anti-war protesters would not disturb the sanctity of the funerals of soldiers, all but spitting on the graves of the dead while their families watch in horror.
If people cared, we would invest in health care and rehabilitation for our returning soldiers, instead of funding pay raises and retirement benefits for Congressmen and Senators that wouldn”t know the working end of a gun from a chainsaw.
If only people cared.
People should care. It matters.
We still have a completely volunteer military. Which means we still have an entire population of young men and women that believe in freedom, that believe in protecting the concepts upon which our Nation was founded, and that believe in honor, respect and making a difference.
And every time we protest the War on Terrorism, every time we cut military funding, and every time we say, “this conflict is about oil and nothing else,” we”re telling them, quite succinctly, that we don”t care.
Still, we”re lucky. Thanks to a bunch of Traitors to the Crown back in 1776, we have the right to do that. We can say what we want, do what we want, and not fear recourse from the government, from the military or from our leaders. That”s what we”re celebrating this week.
But just because we”re entitled to do so does not mean that we”re right in the doing.
Because every time we forget that our soldiers are doing what they do, not because they have to but because they choose to, we also forget that they are protecting our right to do what we choose to do.
Every time we condemn the war, we take away a piece of the mission, which is not to conquer oil, but to free a downtrodden and abused people from the regimes that would crush them under a collective boot heel. We forget about a bitter, enraged, extremely well-funded and sociopathic minority that seeks to destroy everything upon which our country was founded.
And every time we pretend this is about something other than the wholesale slaughter of American citizens, we spit at every veteran who came before – every single soul who fought and died to give us the right to do so.
I, for one, remember… and I don”t want to ever forget.