It has been ten years since the horrific terrorist attacks and murders of thousands of innocent people at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania.
Most of us probably remember what we were doing on that day. In our household, we had a television on and watched after a plane had hit one tower of the World Trade Center. As we observed this, we saw another plane slowly approach - and head straight for the second tower. Complete shock followed. Everywhere we went throughout the day, people were talking softly and appeared surprised. We seemed completely lost - unable to grasp what had occurred. Nothing like this had EVER happened to our country.
Fast forward ten years.
Since no major terrorist attack has occurred on American soil since that dark day, we as a nation must give credit where credit is due. When 9/11 happened, America really was ripe for the pickings. Little was done during the Clinton years to address the terrorist threat even though there had been several terrorist attacks during Clinton's tenure. The Clinton Administration treated terrorism as a criminal act. During this time, there were also major roadblocks in place that prevented federal, state and local agencies from working together regarding intelligence and information-sharing about terrorists and the potential threats they posed. In summary, the nation didn't treat terrorism seriously. Osama Bin Laden took advantage of this.
Since 9/11, President Bush and Vice-President Cheney made it their number one priority to protect Americans from another attack in the United States. They succeeded. Bush went even further - taking the fight to the terrorists. Who can forget his memorable words, standing among the smoldering remains of the WTC with one of the heroic firefighters, saying loud and clear:
Credit must also be giving to President Obama for not dismantling many of the tools the Bush Administration put in place to continue to keep America safe. The wars on terror in Iraq and Afghanistan proceeded - we have not given up the fight. Once Obama got into office, it was apparent that he had a lot to learn, and Obama did actually listen to those fighting the war on terror. Obama's dangerous promise to close Gitmo didn't become a reality. Obama's attempts to try captured terrorists in New York City was short-lived. The Patriot Act is still in place. The troops are still fighting the good fight. Osama Bin Laden was killed during Obama's watch - a huge coup for the American soldiers who risked their lives to accomplish such a feat and a benefit for us all to be rid of such an evil monster.
But we must never forget, nor grow complacent.
God bless the many people who sacrificed their lives to save others and worked tirelessly in the days after the attacks and beyond. God bless those who lost family, friends and co-workers on that fateful day as well as thousands who lost their lives. God bless the agencies who now work together to keep America safe. God bless the men and women in the military, risking their lives every day with many paying the ultimate price in order to ensure that we - American citizens - remain safe at home. God bless President Bush who made it his number one priority - in spite of eventual sagging poll numbers and open disrespect from Democrats and the media - to keep our country safe.
In closing, what a great feeling to repeat the screams of the crowd surrounding President Bush shortly after 9/11/01:
USA! USA! USA!