By George Faught
This September 11th marks the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks against our country. I believe this will be viewed as the defining event of the 21st century that forever changed America’s way of life.
We will never forget the courage of those who voluntarily gave their lives to save others, whether it is the first responders or the over 6,000 soldiers that have lost their lives since that day fighting the war on terrorism and defending our freedoms.
We all remember that fateful morning.
Mine was an ordinary day with a full schedule of carpet cleaning jobs. Turning on the TV to check the weather forecast, I was unexpectedly confronted by images of smoke rising from the World Trade Center. I watched in horror and disbelief as the news reports showed footage of planes crashing into buildings and our fellow Americans jumping from the twin towering infernos.
Then it happened, the towers collapsed into billowing clouds of death and it took my breath away. Suddenly my carpet cleaning jobs were not the priority, my country was. America was under attack and we were caught off guard … all I could do was watch and pray.
But America withstood the attacks.
The character of our citizens shone through the darkness with a quick, strong, and united response to terrorism. The New York City’s first responders displayed true heroism and valor as they rescued thousands of people. Then we learned of the courage demonstrated by the passengers of Flight 93 that would not allow the terrorist their final victory and forced the plane down in a Pennsylvania field.
As we sought out the reasons for the attacks, the events of 9/11 drove Americans back to God. America realized that we needed God to begin again and that faith was key to finding the strength to heal.
That day our country made a promise that terrorism was not going to stop us. America was prepared to rebuild and emerge stronger than before, punish those who caused this devastation, and to never take our country for granted again.
Ten years later, we have only partially fulfilled this promise. Yes, a memorial being built to replace the Twin Towers and fill the New York City’s sky-line with confidence. We do have better security that has kept us safe since the attacks. Bin Laden has paid the penalty for those horrible crimes committed. And we do have a deeper appreciation for our military and all their sacrifice and efforts in the Middle East to make this a more peaceful world.
However, I am afraid that within this 10 years time, we have allowed apathy and political correctness to replace the “one Nation under God” that we were on 9-12-2001. The enormous sense of patriotism we felt has faded.
On this 10-year commemoration of 9/11, the status quo is no longer acceptable and political correctness should not be the standard we keep. We must revive a personal responsibility within ourselves to fight for our freedoms and stand together to protect the greatest nation ever created.
Seventy years ago, America was attacked at Pearl Harbor and it defined a generation of American patriots that we later called the “greatest generation.” History is yet to label our generation, but it is up to us to carry the torch and refuse to let future generations revise the story of what really happened on 9/11. We must never forget!
America changed forever that September day, but we fought back and we will write our own history, not our enemies.
George Faught, R-Muskogee, is state representative for District 14.