Wednesday, September 10, 2008
I'm certain that there will be many who mis-interpret this post, but let me be clear; the loss of life on Tuesday morning, September 11, 2001 must never be forgotten, nor should we ever forget the enemy which brought death to our cities that day. However, I'm a wee-bit concerned about our apparent need to memorialize everything.
When I was abroad recently on a business trip, a foreign national colleague commented, "Washington D.C.; you guys sure do have a lot of monuments in that town." My reply was, "Sure, we've live a lot of history in our first 230-some years." But what I was really thinking was, "We build monuments for nearly everything so as not to offend some group, rather than to make a historical judgement on long-term historical relevance. Meanwhile we race headlong trying to run from much of our history (such as National Park Service's removal of a display inside the Washington Monument that explained the inscription at the top of the Monument that reads Laus Deo, or "Praise Be to God").
We built a very powerful, moving, monument to those fallen and missing during the Vietnam Conflict; mainly out of shame for how our Government miserably executed that campaign. And yet, it we waited nearly two decades after that monument was built to erect the WWII Memorial; probably the single greatest event to shape the last century.
And now, we erect monuments to one day's battle in the midst of a war. That day was indeed significant - the war that has prosecuted in the shadows for decades (over 400 days of the Iran Hostage Crisis, bombings around the world for decades, leading up to the U.S.S. Cole, and then 9//11 - just to name a few) had finally "come to light". So yes, 9/11 is seared in to our memory, but I sure hope we don't go knee-jerk erecting a dozen monuments or so when the next Islamo-fascist gets through the net. I'd rather we send in a few thousand more "snake eaters" to kill the cancer.
We must not forget that this is a war - that extends well before President George W. Bush, and will last as long as Muslims permit extremists to cohabit in their religion.
And finally, what brought me to make this post, is that there will be the dedication of a 9/11 Pentagon Memorial tomorrow at the Pentagon. The ceremony will be closed, but the monument area will open to the public at 7pm.
Please go there, if you can. Remember. And think about the war we are in, globally, to defend ourselves and our allies against the cancer of Islamic Fascism.
And finally, and most importantly, I sincerely thank the members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families, who get up every day, put on the Uniform, and go in to harms way - for you and me, and our families. May God bless them.