Thoughts on September 11th
September 11, 2007
It seems hard to believe, but it was six years ago today that radical Islamic terrorists struck at the heart of our country, killing more Americans in a single day than at any time since the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.
These terrorist attacks were well planned and targeted.
By attacking The World Trade Center in New York City terrorists struck at the financial centers of our nation. By attacking the Pentagon in Northern Virginia they struck at the military strength of our nation, and by attempting to launch a similar attack against The White House or the U.S. Capital, they sought to strike the political institutions of our country.
In the days following these attacks the true American spirit was awakened. We sought to bring those who were responsible for these attacks to justice, and military operations against the Taliban and other terrorist organizations ensued. We pledged to do everything we could to make certain that an attack of this nature did not occur again.
Today, six years after these horrific attacks, there have been successes and disappointments in the war on terror.
We have replaced the Taliban in Afghanistan and we have removed the brutal dictator, Saddam Hussein in Iraq. We have taken similar actions against terrorist operations in numerous other parts of the world, and we have enhanced our intelligence gathering operations.
Through these offensive actions we have reduced the terrorist threat, we have made the world a safer place, and we have prevented any further terrorist attacks on our homeland. These are successes we should be proud of.
These successes have been made possible by two things, and it is important that we remember these things on this solemn anniversary.
First, we owe a great debt of thanks to President Bush, who has stood strong in his resolve to prosecute and win the war on terror, even though numerous politicians and pundits have done all they could to make his task difficult. While some have tried to make the war on terror an albatross around the Presidentâ€™s neck, the truth is that his resolve in fighting and winning the war on terror will likely be remembered as his greatest contribution to our country and the world.
Second, we owe a great debt of thanks to the men and women of the United States Military who have faithfully gone into harms way to combat those who would do harm to our nation and our people and bring them to justice. The members of the U.S. armed forces are truly the best among us, and it is because of their efforts that we have the privilege of living in the greatest nation on the face of the earth.
Unfortunately, as the events of September 11, 2001 have become more of a distant memory, some have lost their resolve to do what must be done to keep the terrorists on the defensive, win the war on terror, and keep the American homeland safe.
Some would have us leave Iraq prematurely, before the job is done. While the work in Iraq is dangerous and difficult, and while it comes with a heavy price, we must not lose our resolve to win the war on terror and keep our homeland safe. We want our troops home as soon as possible, but we want them home in victory, and not in defeat.
If we leave Iraq before the job is done we will empower the terrorists and make it possible for them to make Iraq their base of operations for future attacks on our country and other freedom loving countries around the world. Terrorists, operating from an oil rich country like Iraq, would be far more formidable than they have ever been in the past.
And by relinquishing the offensive position and taking the battle to the terrorists in their homeland, we would make it easier for them to assume the offensive position and bring radical Jihad back to the streets of the United States. We cannot allow that to happen.
As a nation we need to wake up and realize that radical Jihad is a force, an evil force, which threatens the future of our country. These radical Jihadists will not stop until they have killed as many Americans as possible and destroyed our way of life.
While we may wish it wasnâ€™t so, it is so; and the choices we have are to play offense and fight these evil forces in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, or play defense and allow them to bring their war back to the streets of New York City and Washington, DC and countless other places in our homeland.
These threats will not go away, not matter how much we may wish they would. They will stand as a present challenge to our freedoms and our way of life until they are defeated.
But when you think about it, it has always been that way.
When you look back over the history of our nation each generation of Americans has faced a battle of this nature. In each generation we have been called upon to defend the cause of freedom and our way of life, and we have faithfully answered the call.
The question is, six years after the worst terrorist attack in the history of our nation, has our resolve waned, or will we stand worthy to the task and continue to do the difficult work of freedom in this, our most recent challenge?
As we remember this solemn anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, let us remember those who lost their lives that day and continue to keep their families in our thoughts and prayers.
Let us also remember the brave men and women of the U.S. military who have given their lives in the war on terror, who have been wounded in battle, and those who remain in harms way in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other places around the world.
And let us pray that we will remain willing to do what must be done to defend the cause of freedom, protect our way of life, and resist the voices of those who would have us travel down a different road, for that road we will make us less secure and increase the risk of future terrorist attacks.
Yes, Americans have always been willing to answer freedomâ€™s call and do what must be done to protect the cause of freedom and defend our way of life, but the question is, do we still have that resolve? As we ponder that question, let us never forget that the first generation of Americans that fail to heed freedoms call will be the last generation of Americans to enjoy the benefits of freedom.
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