Today marks the eighth anniversary of the September 11th attacks on America. For most Americans, that day will be etched into our memories for the rest of our lives. Eight years later, I can still recall even the smallest details of that day.
I know what time the alarm went off that morning, I know what I wore to work that day, I remember not wanting to attend a meeting in Des Moines that wasn’t cancelled, I recall the price of a gallon gas and the huge lines of people trying to fuel up at the Quick Trip near the state capitol, and I can still remember seeing people standing on an overpass waving the flag and the two little kids standing in a corn field waving the stars and stripes along I-80 east of Des Moines.
I also remember being overcome by a sense of shock, disbelief, and outrage. The America that I had grown to believe was invincible had just suffered an attack more deadly than Pearl Harbor. This attack however was aimed at our citizens, not our military. We were faced with a deep, dark truth that many in our country never wanted to acknowledge. There are people in this world who simply hate America, everything it represents, and its citizens.
As I listened to President Obama talk about the so-called crisis surrounding health care on Wednesday night, I couldn’t help but remember that our previous President also addressed a joint session of Congress. He, too, was just a few hundred days into his first term in office. Unlike President Obama, then-President Bush had a real crisis that he had to deal with. President Bush had to lift the spirits of a nation that was suddenly full of doubt. He needed to exude strength and determination as the eyes of the world watched to see how America’s new President would respond. Even more importantly, he had to chart a new course for our country in waters that our predecessors had never navigated before.
In his address to Congress this week, President Obama chastised Republicans for the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and the cost of the war, not once, but twice. Each time he did so, Congressional Democrats were delighted with the President. Yet, it was those very initiatives and commitments, as well as the spirit of the American people that led America out of those dark days. President Bush had an actual crisis to deal with, and it was nothing like the so-called crisis that has been created today over healthcare.
It is my fear that, while President Obama and his Democratic colleagues are immersed in the healthcare “crisis,” they are ignoring the simple truth that the world is still full of people who hate this county, what it stands for, and all of the people who call it their home. It seems to me that this once proud country is now obsessed with trying to appease the world community rather than be a shining example for other nations to emulate.
Rather than trying to find free market solutions to solve the inefficiencies in our healthcare system, we have made a conscious decision to follow the lead of countries like Canada, Great Britain, and France. It’s hard to believe that the country that has sacrificed its brave men and women in an effort to export liberty and freedom around the globe is now on the cusp of importing policies from other lands that will limit the freedom of our own citizens.
We should not be ashamed to be Americans, nor should we try to appease those who hate us or want to kill us. Despite what the culture of the world may say, America remains the lone shining example of freedom in the world. While some of the shine might have come off our great land, it can be restored if we recommit ourselves to the principles of individual liberty and freedom.
Doing so will not be easy, but it wasn’t easy for the founders of our county to go to war and fight for our independence either. The anniversary of the September 11th attacks should remind us all that evil still exists in the world and that evil will prevail if we allow the torch of liberty to grow dim.
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