Tennessee Drifter

Random Thoughts at Random Times

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow


Today we are remembering the horrific events of 9/11/01. Four aircraft, three locations, and nearly three thousand innocent souls lost.  It was one of those days in American history that those of us who were alive will never forget–and yet, somehow seventeen years later our collective social conscience has seemed to have forgotten.

Not the day, not the people who died, but the impact and meaning of it all.

On Sep 11, 2001, we were consumed with confusion and anger but on Sep 12, 2001, we were consumed with patriotism, unity and resolve.  Today…not so much…what happened?

The division and angry hateful discourse in our country are reminiscent of the waning days of the of the Vietnam War. What happened to us…to the US?

I believe in American Exceptionalism.  There is absolutely nothing this nation cannot accomplish if we make the collective decision…but today we cannot collectively agree to much.

When America was pulled into World War II, we were not ready for the fight, but we resolved to respond and take the fight to our enemies.  We rolled up our sleeves, sacrificed, donated, served and won the second World War. Almost overnight, we built hundreds of naval ships, thousands of aircraft and even more wheeled and tracked vehicles.  It was a marvel of American commitment to winning.

When President Kennedy challenged us to land a man on the moon before the decade was over and to return him safely to the earth…we did it, with six months to spare.  The space race wasn’t just about getting to the moon, but defeating our national nemesis the Soviet Union, and solidifying America’s place in the world and in space. When the gauntlet was thrown down we didn’t know how we were going to do it…but we learned.  There were challenges–it was expensive, and there were lives lost…but we did it on July 20, 1969…and to this day we are still the only ones who have planted our footprints and our flag on the lunar surface.

America is exceptional, so why doesn’t it feel like that in our day-to-day lives, why is there so much conflict and angst in our country today?  Why do we only come together in moments of crisis?

Since the end of the Vietnam War, the American military has been an entirely volunteer force and they have been fighting the Global War on Terrorism for seventeen years now, while many of us at home only fight each other.

Tomorrow, September 12, 2018, a seventeen-year-old American will raise his or her hand and swear to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic.  Tomorrow begins an era of young American’s volunteering to join in the fight in the Global War on Terrorism who were not yet born on 9/11/01.

American soldiers don’t go to war to fight what they hate, but to protect what they love…I wish they could see the America that existed on September 12, 2001, rather than the one they see today. We should all demonstrate we are worthy of their commitment and sacrifice.

God bless each of our sons and daughters who raise their hands, take the oath, don the uniform, and stand ready to take the fight where ever the fight exists so that America will remain free and exceptional for all of the tomorrows to come.

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About Me

An English diarist and naval administrator. I served as administrator of the Royal Navy and Member of Parliament. I had no maritime experience, but I rose to be the Chief Secretary to the Admiralty under both King Charles II and King James II through patronage, diligence, and my talent for administration.


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