Monday, September 7, 2009
Remember the Fallen, Forget the Politics
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
For my grandparents it was
December 7, 1941. For my parents it was November 22, 1963 and July 20, 1969. For us it will always be September 11, 2001.
Dates that define a generation.
Whether it was the Japanese attack on
Pearl Harbor as the impetus to the ’ full scale involvement in World War II, the assassination of John F. Kennedy and landing a man on the moon punctuating the turbulence that was the ‘60s, or the most horrific and worst attacks perpetrated against this nation by a foreign enemy on our soil, ask Americans where they were on those pivotal dates and there will be no hesitation in an answer. United States
Working on a deadline, I wrote from home that day finalizing my news articles when the attacks on the
came across the Fox News Channel playing in the background. Then the Pentagon was struck; and finally the plane crash in World Trade Center . From that moment, everything changed. We were at war and the signs were visible. Immediately reporters from the newspaper for which I worked were dispatched throughout the various communities we covered. All other stories were back-burnered. Pennsylvania
For me, that community was Herndon, and upon first notice, the streets around downtown were abandoned, save for a sight I had not seen there before. Members of the Herndon Police Department patrolled the streets with large firearms. The friendly-faced uniformed officers, never looked more serious in their diligence to ensure the public safety on that day and the days to follow.
We came together as a nation to mourn the loss of nearly 3,000 human beings – mostly Americans, but all living in
, some from the countries that spawned the evil that had been perpetrated upon this nation. I don’t know anyone who does not have a personal connection to America September 11, 2001 – whether they lost a loved one, survived the attacks themselves or currently serves in the armed forces as a result of the attacks.
There was a call to arms that day and the nation responded without asking political parties. Just as the day after Franklin Roosevelt declared that December 7 was a “date which will live in infamy,” Congress declared war on
by a unanimous vote, save for one member of the House. Japan
(That member was Jeannette Rankin (R-MT), the first woman elected to Congress, who said after her “nay” vote, that “as a woman I can’t go to war, and I refuse to send anyone else.”)
The vote to enter WWII involved no party jockeying; it was a unified decision to protect and defend the nation.
When JFK was assassinated, the nation mourned as Americans, not as Democrats or Republicans. The citizens, the regular folks, are not behaving in a political manner as we embark upon the eighth anniversary of the September 11 attacks.
September 11 has since been appropriately labeled Patriot’s Day. It is a day that should be reserved for remembering the fallen – those who lost their lives that day, and those who continue to lose their lives fighting in the global war on terror.
September 11, 2009 should not be a day for rallying people to support a political agenda or demonizing a news network as the Obama administration is doing.
“Organizing for America,” an organization linked to the Obama administration via its website BarackObama.com, has called for using September 11 as a day to call senators in support of the Obama-care and also get out a message to “fight back against our own Right-Wing Domestic Terrorists who are subverting the American Democratic Process, whipped into a frenzy by their Fox Propaganda Network ceaselessly re-seizing power for their treacherous leaders.”
While this administration sullies the memories of the victims of the enemy attacks on American soil with its politicization of Patriot Day-irrelevant issues and denigration a media outlet whose job it is to keep the American people informed, it is also on a quest to reduce this nation’s military capabilities in a manner detrimental to our safety.
I offer this non-political notion from Ronald Reagan, who called for “peace through strength.” On this September 11, remember the fallen, forget the politics.
Sanford D. Horn is a writer and political consultant living in Alexandria, VA.