Here I sit in the center of the Islamic world on the anniversary of the day a couple of terrorist assholes flew planes into the twin towers of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in the name of Islam and Jihad on America/The west. And the weird part is, I don't have any ill will towards my hosts. No I didn't convert, and no I'm not a sympathizer or American apologist...in fact I have zero love or respect for either. And sure, I have plenty of ill will towards my idiot bosses, especially this week. The guys who brought me here with lies, and have a racial superiority complex on par with Hitler's, but that doesn't and they don't really reflect on the Kingdom, or the Saudi's themselves, most importantly though it doesn't reflect on Islam, at least not as far as I can tell. Islam from the Qur'an is peace...the only time it gets violent is in the hands of men.
I guess what makes my view a little different is that sitting here, I can get a better look at over there. Having just been on vacation at home, I can tell you without a doubt that I had a great time and miss my country and my home so very much. But this new vision of mine, comes with a little bit of a price. I appreciated the little things so much while I was home, that it just kills me when people don't. 11 years ago, we all appreciated the little things, even if it was only for a day or two, maybe a week. Have we forgotten so soon? While I was home I saw a lot of examples of people who think freedom is a word that soldiers fight for, that Presidents administer or take away, and that terrorists hate. What they seem to fail to understand is that they themselves are freedom. By choosing how to live their lives, they exercise their freedom every day. They choose who to love, and what to do for work, they choose to go to college or not, who to marry, who to divorce, to join the Military or not, where and how to live. We have free presidential elections every four years like clockwork, we have an abundance of food and safe and warm places to stay. We have electricity 24 hours a day. We travel between cities and states and regions freely. We have the ability to succeed or fail, we have the ability to seek that which makes us happy. We are free. Do you appreciate it?
Today as you remember the brave souls who died this day 11 years ago, and all the days after in the line of duty, take some time to remember that "freedom isn't free" isn't a slogan, it isn't a marketing ploy, its the truth. Freedom isn't doled out by your brother the cop, or your neighbor the veteran or by the President. Freedom is your God Given, constitutionally protected right, and it comes with responsibilities. It isn't free, in fact it isn't even cheap. Its precious, and as such, it's cost can sometimes be ultimate. Terrorists attack buildings, they destroy structures, they do not however have the power to erode our freedoms. Only we do that. And we don't erode our freedoms by voting for the wrong candidate, we erode them by not voting. We erode our freedoms every time we think its the responsibility of someone else to protect them. We erode them when we forget that "out of many we are one", and start thinking about our individual well being, "how much can I get" etc...We erode them when we say "poor me, poor me, look how much I've given" rather than looking at how much we have. If being in Saudi has taught me only one thing, its that I have plenty. More than my fair share. I hope that today, the average American stops looking at their neighbors house, and starts smiling back at theirs. If you really want to send a message to the terrorist pricks of the world, smile today, appreciate all that you have, help a neighbor, take pride in what you are and just look up at that beautiful blue, cloud filled sky and appreciate it. Drive two cities over, wave and smile at someone you don't know. Fire up the grill and throw some pork steaks on that sucker, grab a beer from the cooler, worship at the church, mosque or temple of your choice...or don't. You live in a country of deep green, and sparkling blue, blazing gold and reds and pinks that light up the sky at dusk like fire from heaven. You live in the land of the free, someday I will again too.
May the fallen rest easy, knowing they are not forgotten, knowing they died not in vain, knowing that they are loved by a grateful nation. May they rest easy with their brothers and sisters, knowing we remember them and their sacrifices, knowing that their are no gaps in the line, knowing that men and women with strong arms, proud and brave, stood up to fill the vacated spaces. May they rest easy knowing that although they can never be replaced, the job they did is still done without fail today. May God bless them and their families, keep them and hold them close. -Me 9/11/2012
Oh yeah, its also my 10 month anniversary yesterday...