Fifteen 911’s Later

Posted on: September 11th, 2016 by Will Rodriguez 2 Comments
911 Memorial CNN Photo

Every five years our country makes a special effort to remember 911.  I understand.  We tend to make a bigger deal when an anniversary falls on a multiple of five.  That said, 911 falls in a very unique category and we don’t do it justice.  It is an event that has impacted our lives daily over the last fifteen years yet for many it might be a one year event.  In some ways, marriage or the birth of a child is analogous.  Imagine one’s life if one did not acknowledge, think or live one’s life as if one was married or a parent except for that event’s anniversary?

911 was a catastrophic and horrible event where thousands of Americans died in a matter of hours, it put us on a course that cost another 6000 uniformed Americans their lives and tens of thousands limbs.  The shocks of 911 are felt even in our daily lives whenever we utilize a major conveyance.

With all that said, there is an unconscious and conscious attempt to forget 911 and the truth it communicates.  That truth being radical Islam is at war with us.    Example of this?  Some examples are the efforts to rename the Global War on Terror to “overseas contingency operations”.  Saying Al qeada is on the run just before they kill our ambassador in Libya; categorizing ISIS as a “JV” threat as they successfully inspire multiple terror attacks in the world and even our country.  We increasingly conduct warfare as “lawfare” and refuse to acknowledge allowing large numbers of people from these conflict zones is a threat even while our enemy says they will use that influx to inject more terrorists in our midst.

The latest affront to the senses is the NFL will fine players for wearing commemorative 911 shoes while it condones its players sitting or kneeling during the national anthem.

Remembering 911 is inconvenient, uncomfortable and painful but too many have worked hard at forgetting 911 condemning us to repeat the horror in the future.  I remember that when someone says terrorism isn’t an existential threat despite the fact that is has ended so many’s existence and the way we live our lives.  Maybe we shouldn’t try to remember just once a year.

Be Respectful, Candid and Pertinent. No Posers, No Trolls…
  • YankeePapa

    For a moment America was galvanized. But our leadership squandered much of that. At a time when the military could have obtained all the recruits that it would ever need to raise new divisions (takes two years to raise, train, and field a new division) the regulars, reserves, and Guard left to handle the years of the war. By the time that politicos decided to increase the regulars… years later… the war was already off “…the front pages…” Sailors and airmen put on convoys… troops held beyond their enlistments… the Guard and Reserves used like regulars for year after year.
    The leadership did not focus this powerful energy… instead decided that it needed secret access to our library records and making sure that grannies on flights did not have nail clippers. After a few years the War on Terror became as irrelevant to the everyday lives of many Americans as the War on Dandruff…
    The soldiers and Marines were at the “sharp end”, but “America was at the mall…”
    The workers in the Twin Towers… and the Fire and Police officers who died in the line of duty deserved better.

  • YankeePapa Agree with much.  We definitely could have recruited heavily.  Even so, Rumsfeld was a driving force in keeping our numbers low in Afghanistan and Iraq.  A large force at home wouldn’t have made those fights go any better though there may have been less stress on the force.
    I differ as to the characterization that the Guard and Reserves were used like “regulars” though the Guard is very active in trying to push that message.  They deployed a third of what the regular force suffered and only by exception were their combat elements employed in full spectrum operations or as Brigades.  Often the Guard did the important but routine fixed site or route security roles as well as training.  Even that utilization almost broke them which doesn’t speak to being improperly used as their ability to actually do the same missions the regular units do.
    Many seem to forget that in WWII (the last time the Guard did exactly the same missions as the regular units) the Guard was mobilized, shipped away from home took the two years you spoke of to stand up as fully competent divisions and deployed.