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
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:
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.
Former Paratrooper and Army Officer, "Blackfive" started this blog upon learning of the valorous sacrifice of a friend that was not reported by the journalist whose life he saved. Email: blackfive AT gmail DOT com
Retired Special Operations Master Sergeant, Jim Hanson ("Uncle Jimbo") is now focused on writing about the military, politics, intelligence operations and foreign policy. Email: jimbo AT unclejimbo DOT com
Writer, photographer, and raconteur C. Blake Powers is the Laughing Wolf. He is independent in politics and covers topics including journalism, military, weapons, preparedness, space, science, cooking, food and wine, product and book reviews, and even spirituality. Email: wolf1 AT laughingwolf DOT net Laughing Wolf's Amazon Wish List
Bill Paisley, otherwise known as Pinch, is a 22 year (ongoing) active and
reserve naval aviator. He blogs over at www.instapinch.com on a veritable
cornucopia of various and sundry items and will bring a tactical naval
aviator's perspective to Blackfive. Readers be warned: any comments of or
about the F-14 Tomcat will be reverential and spoken in low, hushed tones.
Email: wpaisley AT comcast DOT net
Mr. Wolf has over 26 years in the Army, Army NG, and USAR. He’s Airborne with 5 years as an NCO, before becoming an officer. Mr. Wolf has had 4 company commands. Signal Corp is his basic branch, and Public Affairs is his functional area. He recently served 22 straight months in Kuwait and Iraq, in Intel, PA, and senior staff of MNF-I. Mr. Wolf is now an IT executive. He is currently working on a book on media and the Iraq war. Functional gearhead.
In Iraq, he received the moniker of Mr. Wolf after the Harvey Kietel character in Pulp Fiction, when "challenges" arose, they called on Mr. Wolf...
Email: TheDOTMrDOTWolfAT gmail DOT com
Deebow is a Staff Sergeant and a Military Police Squad Leader in the Army National Guard. In a previous life, he served in the US Navy. He has over 19 years of experience in both the Maritime and Land Warfare; including deployments to Southwest Asia, Thailand, the South Pacific, South America and Egypt. He has served as a Military Police Team Leader and Protective Services Team Leader and he has served on assignments with the US State Department, US Air Force Security Police, US Army Criminal Investigation Division, and the US Drug Enforcement Administration. He recently spent time in Afghanistan working with, training and fighting alongside Afghan Soldiers and is now focused on putting his 4 year Political Science degree to work by writing about foreign policy, military security policy and politics.
McQ has 28 years active and reserve service. Retired. Infantry officer. Airborne and Ranger. Consider my 3 years with the 82nd as the most fun I ever had with my clothes on. Interests include military issues and policy and veteran's affairs.
Email: mcq51 -at - bellsouth -dot- net
Tantor is a former USAF navigator/weapon system officer (WSO) in F-4E Phantoms who served in the US, Asia, and Europe. He is now a curmudgeonly computer geek in Washington, DC, picking the taxpayers pocket. His avocations are current events, aviation, history, and conservative politics.
Twenty-three years of Active and Reserve service in the US Army in SF (18B), Infantry and SOF Signal jobs with operational deployments to Bosnia and Africa. Since retiring he's worked as Senior Defense Analyst on SOF and Irregular Warfare projects and currently ensconced in the emerging world of Cyberspace.
Major Pain --
A Marine who began his blog in Iraq and reflects back on what he learned there and in Afghanistan. To the point opinions, ideas and thoughts on military, political and the media from One Marine’s View. Email: onemarinesview AT yahoo DOT com
Uber Pig was an Infantryman from late 1991 until early 1996, serving with Second Ranger Battalion, I Corps, and then 25th Infantry Division. At the time, the Army discriminated against enlisted soldiers who wanted use the "Green to Gold" program to become officers, so he left to attend Stanford University. There, he became expert in detecting, avoiding, and surviving L-shaped ambushes, before dropping out to be as entrepreneurial as he could be. He is now the founder of a software startup serving the insurance and construction industries, and splits time between Lake Tahoe, Boonville, and San Francisco, CA.
Uber Pig writes for Blackfive a) because he's the proud brother of an enlisted Civil Affairs Reservist who currently serves in Iraq, b) because he looks unkindly on people who make it harder for the military in general, and for his brother in particular, to succeed at their missions and come home in victory, and c) because the Blackfive readers and commenters help keep him sane.
COB6 spent 24 years in the active duty Army that included 5 combat tours with service in the 1st Ranger Battalion and 1st Special Forces Group . COB6 was enlisted (E-7) and took the OCS route to a commission. COB6 retired a few years back as a field grade Infantry officer.
Currently COB6 has a son in the 82nd Airborne that just returned from his third tour and has a newly commissioned daughter in the 4th Infantry Division.