9/11 – The End of the Dream?

Once again we here at Raised on Hoecakes are pleased to join with other conservative blogs to give varying views on a singular topic. As you might expect, today’s topic is “9/11.”

After reading our article, we invite you to click on over to:
The Spin Cycle for “Ten Years After: We Still Lack The Will.”
Two Sisters from the Right, reminds us of those who made the ultimate sacrifice in “To Protect and Serve – Remembering September 11, 2001.”
The Patriot’s Corner writes “9/11 ten years later: We the people declare this a day of remembrance, NOT one of service.”
The Samuel Adams Committee is “Remembering 911.” reminds us that “Mayor Bloomberg is a shameless liar.”

On this, the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the United States, there will be much said and written as to where people were, the stories of people that day, as well as what has changed because of 9/11.

There have been moments in the history of this country that are truly seminal. Such moments would include the British burning Washington in September of 1814, the shelling of Fort Sumter in the Charleston harbor in 1860, the USS Maine exploding in the Havana harbor in 1898, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the Civil Rights movement of the late 1950’s and 1960’s, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and finally, the attacks of September 11, 2001.

In all but two of those moments – Fort Sumter and the civil rights movement – it was “us against them.” It didn’t matter who the “them” was – the “us” stayed the same. Perhaps we were a people who, like siblings in a family would beat on each other, but when someone else tried to beat on a brother or sister, well, there was a price to be paid.

Nine-eleven seemed to change that.

When Pearl Harbor, the Maine explosion and the burning of Washington occurred, Americans rallied around each other and the President.

But that didn’t happen after 9/11. Immediately following the attack, the President was criticized for his actions prior to, during and following the attack. Instead of coming together, we as a country splintered.

In 1814, the professional British army was met by small US army bolstered in great part by volunteers and militia. After Fort Sumter, the Union and the Confederate states joined the ranks of military units to fight for what they believed in. When the Maine exploded, hatred – real hatred – was voiced against Spain. After Pearl Harbor, men flocked to recruiting stations while women prepared to take their place as “Rosie the Riveter.” When Kennedy was assassinated, the country – even those who despised Kennedy and what he stood for – came together and mourned as one at the end of “Camelot.”

After 9/11 we started looking to blame people. Whether it was the CIA, Bush, Clinton, the FBI, the Right, the Left, Democrats, Republicans, or whatever group you want to name, the focus seemed to be blame others instead of coming together as one. Instead of actively and aggressively pursuing those who attacked us, we almost timidly sought those who caused us harm and alternatively, turned our anger on each other.

Differences were magnified. We became a nation that was not willing to “offend” anyone, even those who attacked us. We attacked each other, intensifying whatever differences we had, but we were afraid to attack others. We were afraid to stand up to the world and showcase what made this country great. We seemed to cower in the corner, worrying that we were offending those who harbored and supported those who attacked us.

To illustrate the difference between WWII and now, take a look at the World War II recruiting poster to the right. It is from the state of Virginia. The call was to rally around a hero of the Mexican American War and later the most influential and visible military leader of the Confederacy. In the days following the attack on Pearl Harbor, the country realized that there were bigger foes than the memory of Robert E. Lee. The Japanese, the Germans, and the Italians were the enemy – not some memory of a war fought 90 years early.

Contrast that poster with the poster to the left. Can anyone see John Wayne appearing in “Fahrenheit 911?” Michael Moore’s film was a success with people who want to see the worst in the country, rather than the best. The idea of a “Lee Navy” today is unthinkable as it would “offend someone.”

Lawsuits would be filed. Marches would be held. Property would be damaged in the name of “free speech.”

And all the while the people who hate this country – both other countries and terrorists – are laughing at our demise from within.

“E pluribu unum” – “out of many, one” – now seems to have morphed into “out of many, many.”

Nine eleven is the first time in our history that when attacked, we turned on each other rather than those who attacked us. That is not to say we have always been perfect or of one mind in everything. Far from it. But 9/11 remains the first time that our focus – our hatred – seemed to be on each other.

That is not the dream of America. That is not the idea upon which this nation was founded.

We have to come together, or else we as a country will not only lose our importance on the world stage, we will cease to exist – which may have been the goal of the 9/11 attacks. We will disintegrate and decay from within.

The moment when that decay became the most virulent was after September 11, 2001.

We know the problem. We have to come together and agree to fix it.

If not, we shall perish.

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