September 11 will be a somber day, not only for the events in 2001, but in remembrance of the tragic end of four good men last year in Benghazi (an incident that remains very unsatisfactorily resolved). Today we are Nation possibly at the brink of another unasked for conflict. We remain at war with an enemy we both refuse to name while equally refusing to fight with all elements of national power.
We are a Nation in chaos; we are losing our moral authority abroad and abrogating our responsibilities at home. Our core, our center, that which makes us the special “shining city on the hill” is eroding, aided and abetted through the avarice, laziness, and greed of those who make no commitment to this Nation, but take and take and take.
In the aftermath of the attack in 2001, we came together as a Nation. We suppressed less important issues to try and rebuild. Success, however, breeds overconfidence. Whether it was our zeal to respond or because we feel protected (again) in the blanket of freedom provided by those who serve, I think that we, as a Nation, have managed to lose our way - again.
I pray we get back on the correct path – and soon – lest we lose this great Nation to those that would tear it limb from limb given a chance.
We can lament failure. I’ve found that unproductive. Let’s instead take a moment and remind ourselves of first principles:
- Those enshrined in our Nation’s founding documents.
- The core canon or tenets of the religions we practice, or the spiritual nature one choses to view the world.
- Those in the business of defense or first response, I ask you recheck your personal rucksacks and other kit, and make sure each of us remembers why we do what we do, and to acquit ourselves each day with honor, integrity and selflessness.
We are a Nation whose strength comes, ironically, from the shared, collective action of people steeped in a rugged individualism. The whole really is greater than the sum of its parts, yet each individual part is critical for this experiment in Constitutional Republicanism to work. We’ve had that tested many times, none more blatantly than 11 September 2001. It is being test again now – and maybe more insidiously.
Please take a moment – a serious moment – and,
Remember the fallen:
- Those we lost on September 11th.
- Those we’ve lost in far flung places defending freedom.
- Those who perished on our own shores upon return either by happenstance, bad choices, or other circumstances.
Requiescat in Pace
But also, remember the living:
- The survivors
- The families
- Those whom we serve and protect (yes, even they who we disagree with and outwardly do not appreciate that which we do).
America, the idea, is in peril. The United States needs to remember who we are and regain our place in the world. This is our moment. We can let circumstances dictate our future or we can shape it. Choose to shape it. Let today be a clarion call to begin our renewal.