It has been 17 years since that horrible day in 2001 now known as 9/11 when terrorism hit America with a vengeance. But many want to forget and pretend it never happened and we already have a generation of kinds just about to, or soon to enter into their teen years who can’t remember what happened on September 11, 2001. It is up to us to keep the memory of that day alive lest we allow it to be repeated.
But how do we approach that remembrance? Looking at an empty page sitting ready to be filled with today’s 9/11 remembrance, words come too slowly and it is hard to know where to start.
But one reason it is so hard to talk about 9/11 is that for many we are still furious, feelings are still too raw. Seeing video of the towers falling, our hearts still stop. When we see that heart-wrenching image of bodies falling from windows hundreds of feet in the air, we still cry. We still get that dark feeling in the pit of our stomach, the same one we felt that morning in 2001.
It’s all still too emotional to write a mere memorial. Words fail.
Why do we still feel this emotion of great loss?
Maybe we’ve come a long way from those terrible days of vulnerability on Sept. 11, 2001. We’ve killed many hundreds of radical Islam’s operatives–including the evil bin Laden himself. We’ve seriously hurt that enemy. So, we’ve had a healthy dose of revenge on al Qaeda so that should go a long way toward easing the emotions of 9/11.
But that isn’t the problem. The problem is that a large number of Americans still have not learned the lesson that 9/11 should have so easily taught us.
We are now mired in idiotic, Politically correct arguments about whether or not Christian ministers will be allowed at the Anniversary memorials event in New York, we are told that our intelligence officials are being forced to attend Islamic services at mosques so that they can prove we “care” about Muslims. Worse, we still see a large sector of the American political arena saying conservatives and Christians –our own citizens — are somehow “just like” or “just as bad” as the Islamist monsters that cut off people’s heads and throw acid on young girls that supposedly break Islamic traditions.
We have not learned that this enemy is not going to be swayed by our pitiful attempts to show them that we “like” them. They aren’t mad because we don’t like them. They are mad because they don’t rule us and their goal is to either kill us all or subjugate us. There is no black and white here, but too many of our own are fooling themselves into believing that we can “lead from behind” with “soft power.”
In fact, worse than not understanding our enemy from without, today we are talking about a civil war within our own nation as liberals rise seeking to tear this country down.
Consequently I find it hard to write a mere memorial as if this is an event long in our past. It is not. Worse, our own people are making sure that we cannot put this behind us because they are not allowing us to beat this enemy.
So, even these many years away from that terrible day, the wounds are still raw, the enemy still strong, and traitors in our midst are lending them succor.
These words don’t come easily. Nor do they come with relief. They are hard, cold facts. We are still in danger. We can’t “forget,” nor can we start mere memorials as if it is all long over.
It isn’t over.
Today we face the Islamic State, or ISIS, an Islamic terror that is surging back into Iraq and Syria, an infestation of murderous “religion” that Obama allowed to grow unchecked. These people are targeting the United States. They’ve murdered several American citizens specifically to prove they can do it. We have a new president who is not as weak in the spine. But we have a political establishment who is not ready to walk down that same path.
In the end, we must never forget. But we also need to understand why it happened and put an end to the enemies, both outside and within, who caused it.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.