Written on Thursday, September 13, 2012 by Chris Skates
A few years ago, country singer Darell Worley had a hit single with a song entitled, “Have You Forgotten”. The song was a tribute to 9-11 and a reminder that we must not forget what happened on that day.
I must admit, when I first heard the song I thought it was a silly premise. After all, how could we possibly ever forget 9-11 and especially so soon after the horrible event took place?
Now, after watching, mesmerized, several specials commemorating the event, the overwhelming loss of life, the scars still remaining in the lives of many survivors, one harsh truth comes to my mind. We did need Worley’s reminder. We have forgotten.
I hesitated to write this column. I shudder at the thought of doing anything that might in any way diminish the memory of those innocent Americans that died that day or the brave passengers of flight 93 or the first responders. But then I realized that their memories would be diminished all the more if I did not speak out.
I remember watching the first tower fall that day. I remember seeing the images of people jumping from the flames. I remember gritting my teeth while trying to contain my anger against the terrorists and those within our own country who had empowered and enabled them. One memory has never left me. It comes to my mind even now, at least once a week.
There was a little girl on the first plane that went into the towers. She was about 6. She was on her first airplane ride. She was going to see her grandma. They showed her picture on television. Her large brown eyes took your breath away. A page boy haircut framed her lovely little face. For the sake of Allah, she was splattered in jet fuel and incinerated.
On that day, and carrying those memories, I would never have dreamed that the nation that I love would be “led” by a man who on this sacred date, refused to meet with the Prime Minister of Israel. This snub comes at a time when Israel faces a desperate, time sensitive struggle to avoid a nuclear holocaust. However, on the same day, this unserious figurehead of a leader DOES have time to meet with one “DJ LAZ the Pimp with a Limp” on his radio show. While other Americans were thinking of that fateful day, Obama was yucking it up and lying about Mitt Romney and clean energy.
Also on this sacred anniversary, our embassy in Egypt was stormed by a Muslim Brotherhood incited mob. In response to having our sovereign territory violated, our Ambassador took just the type of swift, decisive action you would expect from this administration. He issued a statement! He apologized for some filmmaker that neither he nor the US government had anything to do with and sympathized with the mob.
On any day this cowardice would be disgusting to me. On 9-11 I found it reprehensible. And dear Lord this administration still has a lead in some polls. How can we have descended this far?
See if any of what you read in the statement below sounds familiar. It certainly should. Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the brilliant Christian writer who lived under another evil, Soviet Communism, warned this nation that we were in decline some seventeen years ago. He said this to the 1994 Harvard graduating class:
“A decline in courage may be the most striking feature which an outside observer notices in the West. The Western world has lost its civil courage…Such a decline in courage is particularly noticeable among the ruling groups and the intellectual elite, causing an impression of loss of courage by the entire society. Of course there are many courageous individuals but they have no determining influence on public life. Political and intellectual bureaucrats show depression, passivity, and perplexity in their actions and in their statements and even more so in theoretical reflections to explain how realistic, reasonable as well as intellectually and even morally warranted it is to base state policies on weakness and cowardice. And decline in courage is ironically emphasized by occasional explosions of anger and inflexibility on the part of the same bureaucrats when dealing with weak governments and weak countries (Israel perhaps) not supported by anyone, or with currents which cannot offer any resistance. But they get tongue tied and paralyzed when they deal with powerful governments and threatening forces (Islam) with aggressors (Imams) and international terrorists…”
How prophetic Solzhenitsyn was.
Also Dietrich Bonheoffer wrote from his prison cell after being one of the only theologians to stand up to Adolph Hitler, an act of bravery that cost him his life:
Who will stand?
The great masquerade of evil has played havoc with all our ethical concepts. For evil to appear disguised as light, charity, historical necessity, or social justice is quite bewildering to anyone brought up on our traditional ethical concepts, while for the Christian who bases his life on the Bible it merely confirms the fundamental wickedness of evil.
The ‘reasonable’ people’s failure is obvious. With the best intentions and a naïve lack of realism, they think that with a little reason they can bend back into position the framework that has got out of joint. In their lack of vision they want to do justice to all sides, and so the conflicting forces wear them down with nothing achieved. Disappointed by the world’s unreasonableness, they see themselves condemned to ineffectiveness; they step aside in resignation or collapse before the stronger party…
Who stands fast? Only the man whose final standard is not his reason, his principles, his conscience, his freedom, or his virtue, but who is ready to sacrifice all this when he is called to obedient and responsible action in faith and in exclusive allegiance to God — the responsible man, who tries to make his whole life an answer to the question and call of God. Where are these responsible people?”
I could go on and on. I could elaborate on what I saw of Islam in Tanzania or on my conversation as I sat across from the son of the Hamas leader Mosab Hassan Yousef and heard his accounts of the extreme differences between the God of the Bible and Allah. But I will stop here because I write this with full confidence that almost no one will read it and accept the reality of the danger of Islam, or of the intellectual cowardice and the moral vapidity of our leaders.
Would that we would honor the dead of 9-11 by standing against and defeating the brand of evil that took their lives.
Chris Skates is a Plant Chemistry Supervisor at a Midwest Utility, he has 23 years experience in both fossil fueled and nuclear power generation. Chris is the author of several published technical papers, multiple nationally published short stories, and two novels. His most recent novel, entitled Going Green, For Some It Has Nothing To Do With The Environment, has been compared by critics to Grisham, Clancy and Baldacci.