By Michael Vass | September 11, 2010
As I have watched television recounting the events of 9/11/01, I also have been speaking with friends about a young man that recently made a significant decision. D.M (I will only use his initials) is an Endicott, New York native that made the choice to join the Marine Corps and is currently in Paris Island for Boot Camp. The 2 items are connected, though many seem to fail to see it.
For many years there have been many people that enjoy the freedoms of America, with no concern and even disdain for what it takes to ensure those freedoms. There are many that scoff at the military and condemn it’s existence. I have heard from people for decades of my life that say (somehow) proudly they would never join the military or defend this nation.
In no odd coincidence many of those same people are the ones that either believe that 9/11 was an act by the Government against the public, or they lauded the various divisions of the Government that moved quickly to try to make sense of that day and prevent future copies of the terrorist acts.
At the same time we have a nation that has been swayed by Hollywood and many Liberal groups that say America is bad, that the military is evil, that change must be a fundemental departure from the traditions the nation grew from. In some cases we even have some that want to embrace socialism, or other extremes that would destroy the nation as it has existed for centuries. These people all believe that freedom is free, that it is a guarantee secured simply by the fact the sun rises everyday.
FREEDOM IS NOT FREE. There is a cost, which is counted in lives and blood shed for the nation. When we as a nation forget this, when we fail to support our military, when we collectively ignore the fact that some despise our existence, moments such as 9/11 can happen.
The 9/11 terrorist attack was possible because too many believed that America is a defacto given of the world. Too many assumed that America could never be touched by the problems of the world. Too many failed to see that actions like removing ROTC programs, banning military recruiters, the despicable manner in how Viet Nam veterans were treated and the actions of the city of San Francisco to returning vets all create an environment that weakens the nation.
But some realize these factors. Some understand that America is the greatest nation on the face of the Earth. That millions enter this nation illegally every year because thier homes (wherever in the world that might be) are not the equal of this nation given all it’s faults. Even in the midst of a massive crippling recession, millions flock to America, because at our worst we shine brighter and better than anyone else that comparison is made to.
Some like D.M. are willing to offer the greatest service an American can make. To commit to defending this nation from all threats. To ensure that all people, even those that enjoy the freedoms while despising those that guarantee them, have the ability to live comfortable lives.
Those wonderful volunteers like D.M. step forward to ensure that 9/11 won’t happen again. That terrorists will fear the repercussion of killing thousands of innocents, of killing children, mothers, and fathers. That America will remain free even as nations envy us, and others pray for our removle from the face of the Earth.
9/11 is a day where we recall those that died for no reason besides the warped religious views of a few demented souls. We recall those that made sacrifices to help their fellow human beings, to overcome a horrific time in the world. We remember the pain of the nation and our resolve to never allow this to happen again. To celebrate the ability of the human spirit to overcome any hardship, and the freedom to grieve together.
But I also find 9/11 a time to thank our Armed Forces. Those that daily give their sweat, blood, and lives to ensure all Americans never need to live with terrorism as a daily occurance – which many nations across the globe do.
I remember those that died 9 years ago. I remeber those that have suffered because of that day. And I remeber those that have volunteered to protect me and everyone in this nation. Because they are connected. Because they are the same.
Without young men and women like D.M., terrorists like Osama Bin Laden win. America would be less free. Horrific crimes against humanity would consume the nation daily. Comments like this would never be seen, if any would dare write it.
Right now, D.M. and many others are suffering – by thier own choice – to allow me and everyone that reads this the comfort to sit at home. These braves souls, in combat and in training, are ensuring that any psychopathic group with a misbegotten cause, any nation with a purpose of evil and pain, any threat to America must think twice and fear acting against this nation.
9/11 was a terrible blow to America. But America continues, due to men and women like D.M. And as long as there are Americans that can understand the cost of freedom, that are willing to sacrifice everything if need be, America will remain free and the greatest nation on the face of the Earth.
Today I mourn those that died and have been harmed by 9/11. But I take solace that the future is just that much brighter because of D.M. and those like him.