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Forgetting Shanksville


It is the eleventh of September, time for the annual admonishment, “Never Forget.” But all we can do is whisper into the winds of history. We have not forgotten Pearl Harbor, but there are a diminishing few who can recall a visceral memory of a date that will live in infamy.

We will forget. Or, our descendants will. They will have their own tragedies and their own battles, as real and as urgent what we honor today.

We are called to remember courage, but it is courage inspired by a defeat. The United States lost the Battle of September 11th.

December 7th would be a national day of shame if that defeat was not avenged. How will we avenge 9/11? Ten years on, is it too late to redeem that loss through a complete victory over the enemy who still haunts us? If we could accept a surrender, would we?

Every day at U.S. airports, the sting of our defeat resonates. Our national culture is ever more open to submission and petty humiliations in the name of security. The common man was called to respond to Japan’s attack with sacrifice and with resolve. In response to al-Qaeda we cower.

I want to forget. I want the enemy to surrender. And I want my country back.

The memorials in New York are for the new America. They’re for the victims. The losers.

Some spot in flyover Pennsylvania is where fate landed the spirit of old America. Where the common man made a personal sacrifice and took personal action. On United 93 the Americans won.

Instead of marking the patch of earth where those souls escaped their worldly shackles, lets mark the spirit of the fighters. The rebels. The victors. It’s not about Shanksville.

I mean no disrespect to those still carrying the pain of loss. And courage is commendable always. Yet there is something different about the courage of “First Repsonders”. Saving lives is noble. Taking the fight to the enemy is heroic.

Should the country ever establish a formal holiday on September 11th, let it be named for United 93.