Associated Retired Aviation Professionals

From retired Japanese-American barber, Ed Foster.

As the new year approached I began to ask myself what will happen in the
coming year. But then I thought what has happen in the past year that we
as Americans could have done to improve or lives and those yet to be born.
Then my mind began to take inventory of what was bothering me and what should I
as an American have done. If I or anyone could turn the clock back what would
we really do.
Because I remember that; I sat in a movie theater, watching "Shindler's
List, 'and asked myself, "Why didn't the Jews fight back?" Now I know.

I sat in a movie theater, watching "Pearl Harbor" and asked myself, "Why
weren't we prepared?"  Now I know.
Civilized people cannot fathom, never less predict, the actions of evil people.

On September 11, dozens of capable airplane passengers allowed themselves
to be overpowered by a handful of poorly armed terrorists because they did
not comprehend the depth of hatred that motivated their captors.

On September 11, thousands of innocent people were murdered because too
many Americans naively reject the reality that some nations are dedicated to
the dominance of others.

Many political pundits, pacifists and media personnel want us to forget
the carnage.  They say we must focus on the bravery of the rescuers and
ignore the cowardice of the killers.  They implore us to understand the
motivation of the perpetrators.  The major television stations have
announced they will assist the healing process by not replaying
devastating footage of the planes crashing into the Towers.
I will not be manipulated. I will not pretend to understand. I will not
forget. I will not underestimate the intelligence of our adversary who
patiently planned and meticulously orchestrated a devastating act of war.
I will not forget that the terrorists desire a world society where women
are chattel and freedom is forbidden.
I will not isolate myself from my fellow Americans by pretending an
attack on the USS Cole in Yemen was not an attack on me.
I will not forget the Clinton administration equipped Islamic terrorists
and their supporters with the world's most sophisticated
telecommunications equipment and encryption technology, thereby compromising America's
ability to trace terrorist radio, cell phone land lines, faxes and modem communications.
I will not be appeased with pointless, quick retaliatory strikes like
those perfected by the previous administration. I will not be comforted by
"feel-good, do nothing" regulations like the silly "Have your bags been
under your control?" question at the airport.
I will not forget the liberal media who abused freedom of the press to
kick our country when it was vulnerable and hurting.
I will not forget that ABC TV anchor Peter Jennings questioned President
Bush's motives for not returning immediately to Washington, DC and
commented,  "We're all pretty skeptical and cynical about Washington."

I will not forget that CBS anchor Dan Rather preceded President Bush's
address to the nation with the snide remark, "No matter how you feel
about  him, he is still our president."
And I will not forget the ABC's Mark Halperin warned if reporters weren't
informed of every little detail of this war, they aren't "likely -- nor
should they be expected -- to show deference."
I will not be influenced by so called, "antiwar demonstrators" who
exploit the right of expression to chant anti-American obscenities. 
I will not forget the moral victory handed the North Vietnamese by American war
protesters who reviled and spat upon the returning soldiers.
I will not be softened by the wishful thinking of pacifists who chose
reassurance over reality.
I will embrace the wise words of Prime Minister Tony Blair who told Labor
Party conference; "They have no moral inhibition on the slaughter of the
innocent.  If they could have murdered not 7,000 but 70,000 does anyone
doubt they would have done so and rejoiced in it?

There is no compromise possible with such people, no meeting of minds, no
point of understanding with such terror.  Just a choice: Defeat it or be
defeated by it.  And defeat it we must."
I will force myself to hear the weeping, feel the helplessness, imagine
the terror, sense the panic, smell the burning flesh, experience the loss,
and remember the hatred.
I sat in a movie theater, watching in quiet reverence as the blood of
young soldier's turned the sands of Normandy beach red in "Private Ryan" and
asked myself, "Where did they find the courage?"

Now I know.  We have no choice.  Living without liberty is not living.


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