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©September 11th, 2006

Carol Jane Remsburg



Remember Not to Forget




Today is the 5th anniversary of 9/11/2001, not that the media would let us forget the date, but I worry over how many of us have forgotten.  For decades, people knew where they were when JFK was assassinated, or when the Challenger exploded, now the marker of time is 9/11. 


This morning I took advantage of the wonders of the internet and clicked on the CNN's Pipeline coverage of 9/11 as it unfolded.  It was indeed reliving a nightmare witnessing the initial confusion and horror, followed by the yet unvoiced knowledge that this had been no accident.  The reporters and the news anchors were as devastated and put on the spot as everyone else in America. 


Almost five years ago I wrote this:


And for a time it was true.  There were many acts of strength, unity, and patriotism spanning from the initial aftermath and over the course of the next 12-18 months.  For a time it made me very proud to be an American, that the underpinnings of our nation were still strong and pure.  Then there was a marked decline.  Americans became complacent once more.  Attention turned to the Middle East where not only was the hunt for "Bin Laden" on, but the war with Iraq was gearing up. 


It didn't take long before "Bin Laden & Al-Qaeda" took a backseat to the War in Iraq.  When US soldiers began to die, Americans, by a certain percentage, suddenly didn't have the stomach for the fight.  It's those who so easily forget that freedom, OUR FREEDOM, comes at a steep price, mostly paid with the blood of our youth.  And rather than rally-round-the-flag, offer what support they could, some simply found a media spotlight and began to rant, whine, and grouse while offering up nothing that would help or assist anyone.  That spotlight provided a bandwagon for the lazy or those who wanted their 15-minutes of fame, or shame I would think.


Over these last five years I've felt the roller-coaster of emotions that has been festering within our nation.  Five years ago I wouldn't have said it was possible that the people of our nation could forget.  Okay, so not ALL of us have forgotten, but I'm shocked, dismayed, even disgusted over how many who have.  The ability to forget is one of human nature's wonders to heal itself and move on, yet some things should never be forgotten—EVER.


9/11 is one of those events that should have touched every American, however, it is obviously that some only gave lip-service to the concept.  Often, these are the same Americans who expect that everyone else owes them a living, or that being a patriotic American is an inconvenience.  It could be that the thought of giving up either a portion of their time, their income, or simply writing a letter to one of our troops in harm's way, would just be too much of a bother.  Apparently their lives are so much more important and they have little concept of the gift given them so they abuse it by taking it for granted.


Meanwhile, I applaud the many millions of Americans who do know, who do remember, who won't ever forget what happened on this day five years ago.  Those are the same who acknowledge we owe a debt of gratitude for those who work to keep us free; those who also know that freedom is a bittersweet joy. 


Perhaps it is because we, as a nation, have been so strong for so long some simply don't recognize the wolf at the door until the door has been opened and the savagery ensues.  Then the survivors wander around in the aftermath wondering what happened or how it could have happened.


Freedom is fragile.  Freedom is worth fighting for.  Our freedom should be sacred to us; the reminder to live our lives as best we can and to help our fellows, not denigrate or whine.  Freedom is about sacrifice.


So, if you do nothing else, please remember not to forget.


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