Honor the Heroes of 9/11 and Get Our Nation Back on Track

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I’ve been away from here for a while.  But there is no better day to return than today, the 11th anniversary of that September morning that so suddenly, so violently, changed our America.  I listened today to various radio talk stations that replayed their original broadcasts from that terrible morning.  Their shock, their attempts not to waver, their utter disbelief.  And their words whisked me, and I am sure so many others, back to that terrible morning with them, when, despite our valiant efforts to deny what we were seeing, we knew we would be forever changed.  I just never would have imagined the nature of that change.

We all seemed so cohesive that morning, and the mornings that followed, sharing our grief and our identity as Americans, united in the wake of an attack that none of us could have imagined when we rose that morning to greet the day.  Eleven years have passed, and now I — and I believe so many of my fellow Americans — find ourselves saddled, for some unfathomable reason, with a president who refuses to use the word “terrorist.”  A president who, as the leader of his party, tries to terrify Americans into voting for him by claiming Americans on the right are hellbent on revoking birth control and the right to vote from American women. A president who, failing to notice a hot mike, promised Russia that once he gets re-elected he can be more “flexible” in his negotiations with other, often hostile, nations.  A president who refuses to meet with the leader of Israel in favor of an appearance on Letterman’s late-night talk show.  A president with no business experience whatsoever — even experience working a cash register at a local fast-food joint.   A president who uses our military as backdrops for photo-ops and whose administration has been riddled with scandalous cover-ups, as well as national-security leaks designed to fuel his re-election.  A president who, as a state senator, voted repeatedly to deny medical care to a baby who happens to survive an abortion.  A president who admits he spent a good deal of his formative high-school years in a drug-induced fog (gotta wonder, then, how he got into all those high-falutin’ schools on his “resume”).  A president who has repeatedly bowed to world leaders and apologized for America….I’m sorry, this list is simply far too lengthy to include here in its entirety, but we all get the drill.

It’s just downright shocking and unbelievable that, given the events of that September morning 11 years ago, we find ourselves in this particular American universe today.  My hopes for change on this September 11th, with the election less than 60 days away, is that we the people will fix all this on November 6th.  That we will right the mis-calculations of the years that followed the shock of 9/11 and get our nation back on the path it is meant to follow.  The path that has been its destiny since our founders risked their lives and the lives of their families by committing the ultimate act of treason, dedicating themselves not to tyranny, but to independence and liberty, creating the most miraculous nation the world has ever known.  Let’s roll.

To Burn or Not to Burn: That Is NOT the Question

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We have no idea if the newly notorious pastor in Florida is going to burn the Koran on Saturday. He apparently hasn’t decided, but no matter. Having successfully reaped his 15 minutes of fame, and now apparently inspiring others to burn, as well, when tomorrow dawns, the situation has escalated into an international firestorm. Yet the actual burning is not at all the issue.

I personally find book burning abhorrent, whether the tinder be the Bible, the Koran, Mein Kampf, Harry Potter or Huckleberry Finn. I frankly regard this pastor’s showboating as either a publicity stunt or a death wish (perhaps both), evident in his announcing his intent long before 9/11 to ensure maximum media attention. But my country has taught me that it is within the rights of all Americans to burn a book or a flag, to behave stupidly and recklessly, or to speak out against our government — rights foreign to most other countries, particularly those currently criticizing our handling of our own internal issues, such as illegal immigration and the building of a mosque at Ground Zero.

What disgusts me most about this incident is not that a man of the cloth would protest Islam by burning its book, but rather the strident response of, among others, our own media outlets, elected officials, and President to the man’s threats to do so.

I think back to moments in our history — to the celebrated desecration of the Virgin Mary and the Star of David, to modern-day Nazis marching through a town occupied by Holocaust survivors, to a crucifix submerged in a glass of urine heralded as fine art, to the former President routinely burned in effigy — and I wonder, where were the protests from all those exalted authorities and institutions then? Where were the calls for restraint? We all know the answer to that one.

Which brings us to the fundamental difference between these documented incidents in our recent past, and the current threat of a torched Koran. Fear. That’s the difference. The authorities and institutions squawking in unison to stop Saturday’s burning don’t fear the Christians, the Jews or we the people. They know that those so inclined to desecrate and disgrace the symbols of these faiths, and of America herself, can do so freely and graphically without threat of repercussion. But these same authorities and institutions are terrified to the bone of those who follow Islam. Their resulting reactions, their policies, their censorship and their scoldings, are fueled by that fear.

This chronic hypocrisy is in turn fueling the palpable rage brewing in America right now: a rage at the tyranny spewing from our nation’s capitol, a rage at politically correct appeasement of those who wish to destroy us (whether or not a Koran is burned), a rage at punishing policies and taxes that cripple our childrens’ futures. This rage now boils over at a most symbolic moment in our nation’s history – the anniversary of a day we the people will not forget, despite the left’s attempt to rewrite history. It’s going to be a rocky ride.

Newsweek Scolds Us for Overreacting to 9/11

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After circling the drain of financial ruin for several years, thanks to the changing face of print journalism and an unseemly allegiance to leftwing extremism, Newsweek magazine sold last month for a buck to a benevolent billionaire. Inspired by the promise of second chances and new beginnings, Newsweek is now apparently back on track, ready to return to its glory days, when subscribers actually paid to receive its pages in their homes.

To demonstrate its born-again connection to 21st century America, a Newsweek columnist, on the eve of the ninth anniversary of 9/11, has commented in the magazine that:

“September 11 was a shock to the American psyche and the American system. As a result, we overreacted.”

Anyone with a soul was indeed shocked on that day, when more than 3,000 Americans were lost in a swift and well-orchestrated attack on our home by Islamic terrorists. Most of us know precisely what we were doing the instant we heard how we had been so violently blindsided on that terrible September morning, and we remember everything we did and thought every moment following it for weeks thereafter.

How silly of us to take it so hard, Newsweek scolds us now. How ridiculous for us to overreact so. Just look at the lack of similar attacks since that day, continues the columnist, conveniently ignoring America’s “overreaction” as the reason for that.

Time will tell if this brilliant insight will bring the magazine back into the black financially. I have my theory on this, of course.  In the meantime, I’m content to ignore the Newsweek scolding and to continue “overreacting” whenever possible, whenever necessary. I hope you’ll join me.

Memorial Day 2010

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Three months or so after September 11, 2001, the day we witnessed a devastating attack by radical Islamic terrorists on our nation, I went to Ground Zero in New York City. As my friend, a native New Yorker, and I walked from Greenwich Village to Lower Manhattan, we could feel it in the air, growing more palpable, more intense, the closer we got to the site of America’s collective loss. Call it a sensation, an aura, the footprint of the souls who were taken from us that day, the “it” to which I refer here is something known only to those who have been to ground we call sacred.

This was not new to me. I felt it at Pearl Harbor. And at Gettysburg, too. I hope someday to experience it at Normandy Beach and that field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The footprint of the souls who left us in sudden fury. The souls of Americans who were taken from us.

I think of that sensation, those footprints, today on the eve of Memorial Day, the day when we honor the countless Americans who have given their lives, either consciously or in sudden unexpected fury, for our country. I honor as we all must the blood they shed for us, for our children, for the preservation of this extraordinary experiment we call home. And, though my words seem so feeble in comparison, I thank those extraordinary Americans for what they have done for us.

Our nation today is once again traveling treacherous territory. This time we are encountering threats perhaps not so overt as those we encountered on that day in December of 1941 or on the bloody battlefields of our nation’s terrible Civil War or on those beaches in France so far from home – threats that are thus probably even more treacherous because of that. So I think of that famous passage I would hope every American has heard and should embrace. To paraphrase, it reminds us that it is not the reporter or the lawyer or the politician or the preacher or the community organizer who gives us our precious freedoms, freedoms unique and extraordinary in all the world. No, we have only one individual and one individual alone to thank for those precious freedoms. The American soldier.

I for one will never forget the ultimate sacrifice the American soldier has made for me and mine, nor will I ever forget the ultimate sacrifice that soldier’s family has made for us. Knowing full well the enormity of what that sacrifice means to us all, I remain eternally grateful to that soldier on this Memorial Day and every day. And I pray that every American will join me in this. We must never forget.

Eight Years Ago…

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September 11, 2009 | Comments

It was eight years ago today. And it changed everything. With great humility, I pray, as I do every year on this day of remembrance, for those we lost, and I offer all my gratitude to those who have kept us safe for all these years since.

God, please continue always to bless and protect our America. We will never forget, and we know You won’t forget us.

Betsy Siino | Comments