9/11: Giving thanks

Tomorrow, we commemorate the tenth anniversary of 9/11. The Blogland will profile two of those who were lost on that day.

Today, the day started with a visit to the Lowcountry GOP Breakfast Club, which featured a 9/11 memorial and Homeland Security presentation. The group remembers this by setting aside each September for a presentation on Homeland Security and tribute, asking their speakers to discuss what has been learned and what’s improving.

They’re challenge themselves and others to do their part to keep moving the ball forward, as did their speaker, retired Air Force Major General Arthur Rooney, who challenged attendees to “do something”.

They haven’t forgotten what happened. They haven’t forgotten that freedom isn’t free.

In remembering, they’re thankful.

So what am I thankful for?

I’m thankful for the courage of those of those on the front lines of the War on Terror. As with generations before, Americans don’t hesitate to go forth and take on those who threaten freedom. From the Marines who landed in Tripoli in the nation’s early days to the Navy SEALS who put two rounds in Bin Laden, our nation is well-known for hunting our enemies down wherever they hide and taking the fight to them.

I’m thankful for the courage of those ordinary citizens who got up that day, expecting another day on the job, at the fire station or another flight, but who did extraordinary things. It didn’t occur to those terrorists that ordinary Americans would rush into the World Trade Center or Pentagon to rescue others, nor that the passengers of Flight 93 would fight back. Likewise, enemies of years past didn’t expect to be bloodied fighting civil engineers at Wake Island, farmers at the Alamo or frontiersmen at Kings Mountain. As past generations honored the courage of ordinary citizens who rose to their occasions with extraordinary courage with “Remember the Alamo”, we now remember them with the words “Let’s Roll”.

I’m thankful the people of the Middle East, who the terrorist groups counted on to rally to their cause, have instead risen up, demanding their tyrants step aside in favor of liberty and the rule of law. While the belief that Americans would not fight back after 9/11 was a major miscalcuation, expecting they could roll back the clock to see the Middle East run by medieval theocracies proved an even greater mistake.

I’m thankful for my friend Chris, whose office was at the Pentagon, and my future father-in-law, whose law firm was in the World Trade Center. By luck and good timing, both are still with us, as are many others who might not have been if the planes had arrived an hour or two later in the morning.

This weekend, as I am every day, I’m thankful for these people and so many others. I’m thankful that what they lived for – and sometimes died for – was not in vain.

I hope you are too.

1 Response to "9/11: Giving thanks"

  1. Bill Pickle 10/9/11 20:07
    Earl, What a great commentary. The Low Country GOP event sounds like it was a huge success. Sorry I missed it. I had intended to attend, however a little grandson decided today was the day he wanted to enter the world (a couple of weeks early).

    Your comments made me think about the times we forget to say "Thank You" for the blessings we have received from the efforts and sacrifice of others. Many times, such as those who died on 9/11, the situation itself can bond a people together, even if it is for just a period of time.

    I wish to thank the Low Country GOP and you for all everyone does for the GOP and the State of South Carolina.

    I also want to thank you for your commentaries and the assistance you have given to me and the FCGOP.

    I don't think I've ever told you, but it was reading your blog that gave me that final spark I needed to start In The Pickle Barrel. So, I guess you might say say you created this monster.

    Wishing you all the best as you enter a new era in your life. I ask you to continue sharing your commentaries and information.

    Thank you!

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