As I opened my computer and saw all the mainstream media tributes today, I realized that I don't feel patriotic today... that's how I feel on July 4th.
Today, I still feel angry!
I'm angry that 10 years ago men who had never met those that they would kill, never saw the faces of the fathers, mothers, sisters, and brothers, the friends and children, the hard working heart of our country, would do so in such a cowardly manner.
I'm angry that our government, supposedly a government of the people and for the people, would choose to use the crisis to increase restrictions on us, the American Citizen. Choosing to invade our lives in ever increasing ways, restricting our freedom of movement, continually searching us, inquiring about our activities, even assaulting us with searches of our person that would be considered sexual assault if it were performed outside of an airport by someone not in a TSA uniform. All of this to supposedly find terrorists, but after 10 years, not one has been found in this manner! Security Theater...As Benjamin Franklin said, "Anyone who trades liberty for security deserves neither liberty nor security." We are it!
I'm angry that our soldiers, airmen, marines and sailors are continually placed in danger by rules of engagement that are both senseless and craven. I'm angry that the best military minds are stifled by politicians who have never stepped on a battlefield, and who surround themselves with armed security, while demanding that the rest of us give up our own weapons. I'm angry that the same military minds who conceived the brilliant battle plans responsible for the overwhelming victories of Desert Storm and Desert Shield, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan are hobbled by small minded men who sit in comfortable chairs in the Senate, House, and White House.
I'm fortunate, I lost no friends or family that day. A great friend was sick, and because of that was not where he might have been, and was thus spared.
But I am angry that so many other friends of mine did lose loved ones, and still bear those scars.
I am proud that Americans did not lash out at Muslims here. That we did not take out our anger on fellow citizens, simply because they were members of the same religion or race as the 19 cowardly fanatics who destroyed so much.
I am proud that we have tried to make the world a better place, not always succeeding, but we have tried.
I am proud that our military men and women have, by and large, acted appropriately when faced with very difficult decisions. That they have represented all that is best about America, while our politicians often represent all that is worst.
I am proud too, that we have sustained the war against those who would destroy our way of life, who would, given the opportunity, drive liberty and freedom from the face of the Earth.
I am hopeful. Hopeful that we can right the wrongs, find our way out from the cloud that hangs over us. That we can finish this job, and make American secure once more in her strength.
I salute those who protect us. Not the phony security theater of the TSA, but the men and women of the Armed Forces, who stand on the wall in the dark and say, "Nothing will hurt you tonight, not on MY watch!"
I TOO WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER!