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Let us never forget the reason our soldiers fight for Freedom

September 11, 2008

There is little doubt terrorism is a serious, frightening and difficult issue to deal with.

Few Americans - true Americans anyway - can argue against protecting our beloved country against those who maliciously want to destroy its freedoms, ideals and citizens.

None of us want to relive 9/11 ever again - to face the gut-wrenching terrors of that day again.

But sometimes - particularly when accusations about intrusive government acts and claims of political lies and trickery appear - we need to remind ourselves of what happened to lead us where we are today.

Images of airplanes ripping through a pair of black towers, the concrete walls of the Pentagon and a serene farm field are still haunting and unforgettable.

The sinking feeling felt when the towers collapsed with the knowledge that thousands were still inside still reverberates through the body at the mention of 9/11.

The ghastly hole torn through the Pentagon fortress still conjures images of dread, concern and a loss of life so unreal we wished it was a horror film, rather than life.

The horror of flames rising up from a downed aircraft and the act of bravery undertaken to salvage the rest of the nation still brings a tear to the eye.

The look of despair and sadness on our nation's president as he received the news while visiting schoolchildren in Florida is still as clear as day.

These are the memories we have of 9/11.

Memories that remind us of the reason our sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, friends and neighbors are giving their lives in Iraq.

Memories that fuel our ambitions to intercept any possible terrorism-related intelligence we can to protect each and every American.

Memories that give us cause to rally behind efforts to rid Iraq of weapons of mass destruction and evil underground organizations like al-Qaeda.

Memories that remind us how fragile and unexpected life can be, yet how important it is to protect those lives at all costs.

There are many today who are ready at a moment's notice to voice their complaints about each and every one of those memories - the nay-sayers who argue against the war in Iraq to squash terrorism in America, the validity of weapons of mass destruction documents and the illegal governmental intrusions into personal lives in hopes of catching the next terrorist plot before it happens.

Quite frankly, we're tired of hearing about how Bush lied or how the Democrats did this while the Republicans did that or why our efforts in Iraq are futile or how innocent lives are being lost in a war we shouldn't be fighting.

This country wasn't built by quitting wars or turning our backs on those against us or whining about petty political differences.

We're tired of the news reports focused solely on the negative, never highlighting the accomplishments or our soldiers and their efforts.

We're tired of the constant jabs at our president's fight against terrorism.

We're tired of listening to the whining of those opposed to wire-tapping, surveillance and other intelligence efforts aimed at making our country safer.

We're tired of political candidates with no authority - and in some cases, no experience - telling us how much better they'll do when they're in charge.

We're tired of hearing about everything that's being done wrong and how everyone at the coffee shop or grain elevator could do a better job.

To be blunt: shut up.

If not because you love your country, then at the least out of respect to those of us who do and the harsh, tearful and sometimes sickening memories we will all carry to our graves from 9/11 - memories we must fight to never relive.

As we mark the seventh anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, take a moment to assess where you fall in the above list.

Then take a moment to thank a soldier. Without them, you wouldn't enjoy the freedom to gripe, complain or criticize.



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