Events happen once or so in a lifetime that are so consequential that, as so many have remarked about these things, everyone remembers where they were and what they were doing when the events occurred. Such an event were the cowardly terror attacks on the United States and the World on 11 September 2001.
Where was I? I had just laid down after working the night shift at the Alabama Docks in Mobile and my wife had awaken me to speak with my father on the phone. She had placed a call to him for me as his birthday is the 11th. We had the bedroom television tuned to Fox News and as the call was being connected Fox cut to the breaking story.
Shock, horror, anger, sadness... All of these emotions poured from everyone we encountered that day and for a long time after. Those old enough said they felt this more deeply than when Pearl Harbor was attacked. Working for Port Protection (soon after to become the Port Police as mandated by the new Homeland Defense entity) and also being a new Alabama Constable heightened my attention to the events. There was a time in those first few confusing days when we thought I would be in the contingent heading for New York or Washington, D.C. Instead, I stayed behind and worked long hours at different port facilities with rumors of attacks coming in by the hour.
National Guard troops supplemented our ranks at most facilities. These were, for the most part, scared kids from our own communities. They may have been scared, but the training and determination to protect our homes on the part of the Guardsmen was exactly what we needed. Very soon the words of heroes and leaders were echoing through our conscience, emboldening us and sustaining us in that low time. "Let's Roll" became a mantra, and we were determined to let "them hear from all of us."
Today much of the emotions of that day have been forgotten, or pushed aside. Most of the World has moved on and is again ignoring the threat that the barbarians pose. The terrorists attacked the World Trade Center that day. People of many nationalities were butchered by their fanaticism. It wasn't just America that was attacked, the World was attacked. Freedom was attacked. Liberty was attacked.
America is the vanguard of Liberty in the World. Americans can't afford to forget that. The World community is a fickle thing, and often loves that which will destroy it. It loved communism. It ignored Fascism. It reveled in totalitarian monarchies. America really is that shining city on a hill, and it is our duty to show the way.
We're the good guys, remember? It's our duty to defeat the bad guys.