|September 11 Memorial|
A million memories.
Thousands of lives lost.
Millions of lives changed.
Today marks the ten year anniversary of one of our Country's greatest tragedies.
What are you doing to remember it?
Sitting around drinking a beer?
Sleeping off a night of partying, or preparing to party?
Are you living today like it is any other day?
Take a few moments, a few seconds, a breath-- and remember all that has been lost because of this day.
If you see a service member-- Police, EMT, Fire Fighter, Marine, Navy, Army, Air Force-- thank them for all they have done-- and remember they lost friends, family, and co-workers as well.
Remember that nothing is free in America.
Not even our Freedom.
It all comes at a price.
What price are you willing to pay?
Below is a guest post from my dear friend, the Corpsman. Take a moment to read his memories of that fateful day in 2001--and the years that have followed. You can follow him on twitter.
The Day that Changed my Life
I was doing what any recently graduated 17 year-old does on a Tuesday off. Sleeping in. I was supposed to go over to a friend’s house and watch anime while her mom and dad did business in town. I remember my mom coming in and turning on the TV in my room. She says “Two planes just flew into the World Trade Center in New York and another one into the Pentagon.” I remember watching those first images I had seen and thinking to myself that this was a movie. There was no way that this could happen in our country. Seems that I was naïve as the rest of the country.
I remember that morning clearly. I watched as the towers fell. And then the reports of Flight 93 crashing in that field in Pennsylvania, as the result of the courageous passengers taking the cockpit. Todd Beamer, who I assume led the revolt, was overheard by an operator over a cell phone, “Are you guys ready? Let’s roll.” I only wish that I would be able to do the same thing in that situation. He and all on the rest on Flight 93 are real heroes in my book.
I spent the rest of the day at my friend’s house, keeping our plans. We both agreed that we needed to do something to take our minds off the bad day. We had heard and seen enough pain, and we enjoyed each other’s company.
I already knew that I was going into the military. This day gave me a tangible reason to go. This was the first time in my life that I was so sure of something. And even knowing where it would lead, I was not afraid. I wanted the bastards to pay for what they did. These feelings have waned over time, but I am still committed to the service of my country, and to my fellow service members, the same as I was when I signed my name on that line. My life in the military has been nothing but serving others, and I find that a fitting tribute to any man courageous enough to lay down his life for something he believes in.
I’ve deployed four times since joining the military. Once on a hospital ship at the beginning of the invasion in Iraq. One to the coast of Somalia to hunt pirates. One to the Philippines to assist in the hunt for Al-Qaeda in Asia, and the last was to Iraq, to train and ready the Iraqi Army to defend their country. I’ve made some good friends along the way, as I have also lost some great ones. Some say it comes from the job. Peace comes from knowing that they died doing something they believed in.
The almost spontaneous response of patriotism in this country after that day was overwhelming. But it was sad. Why does it take an event of this magnitude for someone to be patriotic? You should be honored and grateful to fly the nations flag every day of the year, not just after a tragedy. Now, I understand that being a patriot isn’t just about flying the flag, but it’s about support. People say they don’t support the wars. However, that’s all people cried for the days following the events on September 11th. It just shows me that the average American doesn’t have the resolve or determination to see something through to the end.
Everyone knew that this was going to be a different type of war. I’ve been there, and I can say that the cause is just. What greater mission than to give another country the means to fight for what they believe in? After all, if we don’t enable them to do so, who’s to say that someone else, someone more villainous and evil will fill that power void. We need to see it through to the end, whatever the price. If we end it prematurely, then what is the price paid by all those who have given their lives worth. In my opinion, it would all be in vain.
Even though it seems so long ago, the day is as fresh in my mind as when it happened. I will never forget.
2,606 – Deaths in the World Trade Center
87 – Passengers of American Airlines Flight 11, which at 0846 crashed into the North Tower
60 – Passengers of United Airlines Flight 175, which at 0903 crashed into the South Tower
125 – Deaths in the Pentagon
59 – Passengers of American Airlines Flight 77, which at 0937 crashed into the western side of the Pentagon
40 – Passengers of United Flight 93, which crashed into a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania at 1003
5,029 – Coalition forces that have died in Iraq
2,606 – Coalition forces that have died in Afghanistan
I remember today, and every day. Have you forgotten? What will you do to honor them?
n Doc Seven Echo, “The Corpsman”