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Lest We Forget

By Perry Hicks and Keith Burton – GCN Special Feature   9/10/06

911. Forever after the events on September 11, 2001, the memory of that day is etched into every American. Or it should be.

How can one ignore an attack that between four hijacked airline flights, the Pentagon, and the World Trade Center killed approximately 2,973 innocent Americans?  How can one ignore an attack that would have killed ten times that many had not the Towers been evacuated below the point of impact? Who can forget the image of the planes that slammed into the World Trade Center?

But there are some in America who want us to forget.

Perhaps George W. Bush has been too successful in fighting the War on Terror.  His critics, practically rabid in their hatred for him, find it too easy to claim that his forays into Afghanistan and Iraq are actually the cause for endangerment. It is incredible that such talk has even gained a footing in this country, but it has.

Time fades memory and without a mounting domestic body count, terror war critics hope that the airliner attacks that brought down the Twin Towers would soon become an abstract footnote in history.  Some have even said America would have been better to simply ignore the jihadists who have claimed responsibility.

But perhaps this “War on Terror” has been wrongly cast by the President. America is more than a rich and prosperous nation. It is a nation founded on ideas of individual liberty and freedom. These should be acceptable objectives to any person, anywhere. But even in America, we don’t always remember what we are truly about. Too many people think the system that has become America is more important than the principles of what we were founded upon.

The War on Terror is really a war against tyranny. It is a war against oppression, a war against anarchy. It is a fight for the liberty and prosperity and freedom that this nation was founded upon. It is a war that we have never stopped fighting.

It is the idea of America that threatens our enemies. It is the idea that people can be free and live in peace and prosperity, that so infuriates America’s attackers.

America is not a finished work. We are still a flawed nation, and our mistakes as a nation are many. But we must not allow our mistakes to discourage the vision of what we can be. Nor should we allow our enemies to capitalize on our mistakes to steal America’s vision from what a free people can achieve.

The victims of 911 were heroes in the truest sense. Their lives were lost not because of any evil they had done, but because they were free.

Because, they were Americans.

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