To the editor:
For my grandparents it was December 7, 1941. For my parents it was November 22, 1963 and July 20, 1969. For us it will always be September 11, 2001.
Dates that define a generation.
Whether it was the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor as the impetus to the United States full scale involvement in World War II, the assassination of John F. Kennedy and landing a man on the moon punctuating the turbulence that was the 60s, or the most horrific and worst attacks perpetrated against this nation by a foreign enemy on our soil, ask Americans where they were on those pivotal dates and there will be no hesitation in an answer.
Working on a deadline, I wrote from home that day finalizing my news articles when the attacks on the World Trade Center came across the Fox News Channel. Then the Pentagon was struck; and finally the plane crash in Pennsylvania. From that moment, everything changed. We were at war and the signs were visible. Immediately reporters from the newspaper for which I worked were dispatched throughout the various communities we covered. All other stories were back-burnered.
For me, that community was Herndon, and upon first notice, the streets around downtown were abandoned, save for a sight I had not seen there before. Members of the Herndon Police Department patrolled the streets with large firearms. The friendly-faced uniformed officers never looked more serious in their diligence to ensure the public safety than on that day and the days to follow.
We came together as a nation to mourn the loss of nearly 3,000 human beings mostly Americans, but all living in America, some from the countries that spawned the evil that had been perpetrated upon this nation. I dont know anyone who does not have a personal connection to September 11, 2001 whether they lost a loved one, survived the attacks themselves or currently served in the armed forces as a result of the attacks.
There was a call to arms that day and the nation responded without asking political parties. Just as the day after Franklin Roosevelt declared that December 7 was a date which will live in infamy, Congress declared war on Japan by a unanimous vote, save for one member of the House.
The vote to enter WWII involved no party jockeying; it was a unified decision to protect and defend the nation.
When JFK was assassinated, the nation mourned as Americans, not as Democrats or Republicans. The citizens, the regular folks, are not behaving in a political manner as we embark upon the eighth anniversary of the September 11 attacks.
September 11 has since been appropriately labeled Patriots Day. It is a day that should be reserved for remembering the fallen those who lost their lives that day, and those who continue to lose their lives fighting in the global war on terror. September 11, 2009 should not be a day for rallying people to support a political agenda as the Obama administration is doing.
Organizing for America, an organization linked to the Obama administration via its website BarackObama.com, has called for using September 11 as a day to call senators in support of Obama-care. While this administration sullies the memories of the victims of the enemy attacks on American soil with its politicization of Patriot Day-irrelevant issues, it is also on a quest to reduce this nations military capabilities in a manner detrimental to our safety.
I offer this non-political notion from Ronald Reagan, who called for peace through strength. On this September 11, remember the fallen, forget the politics.