I waited for a reason.
Last week most writers expounded on 9/11 and the history of the 20 years since that faithful day in 2001 when America was attacked.
I wanted to just stop and reflect on the day, experience it again, before writing my thoughts and opinions such as they are.
20 years. We lived in Maine, 40 miles from the Portland airport where several of the hijackers left for Boston. The twins had just come home from the hospital and two of our boys were in New York City.
Then the attacks started. First one tower and then the next.
I thought about that Saturday as the television recognized a minute of silence at 8:45 eastern time. I ducked my head a bit and thought about two small girls just entering the world and the two older boys in a huge city that had just came under attack.
Pennsylvania, the Pentagon. America was under attack by people that wanted nothing more than to hurt us, destroy us.
Yet, the twins, as innocent as newborn babies which they were, were only 40 miles away from those monsters. I don’t know how other fathers may feel, but I can tell you I was mad.
I had two sons in the same city where the attacks started. One son had worked in the Towers and the other was planning on moving there and had just arrived. I don’t know about other fathers, but I can tell you I was mad.
The twins were safe out our home in Maine, but how safe? It would be almost 36 hours before I heard anything from the boys. They were safe as well, but how safe?
While the Bush administration carried the burden of the attacks and the subsequent military actions, it was the Clinton administration which ignored and often bungled some of the intelligence which said these types of attacks were coming.
We, as a country, had several chances to capture and stop the attacks during the years leading up to the cowardly actions. While several of the actions carried out by the Clinton administration enabled, emboldened the terrorists, the Bush administration ignored several threats right before the attack.
I have talked with many military veterans who have served overseas and they see the same things happening again.
The weak-willed Biden administration let the Taliban take back Afghanistan in a matter of hours and the reason we were there in the first place was to stop the region from being a “safe house” for terrorists. The Taliban, contrary to recent network broadcast reports, have already gone against their words on the safety of Americans and their supporters. We are repeating some of the same mistakes made before the 9/11 attacks. During the moment of silence this past Saturday, there was a tear in my eye as I see that our government is heading down a deadly path and placing American lives straight into the scopes of our enemies. There are countries that now see us as a target, more so than ever since that faithful day 20 years ago.
America has prided itself on its strength and ability to show its military might. Right or wrong, believe we should have been overseas in Afghanistan or not. We were showing might and resilience.
The withdrawal and the way it was handled, showed weakness and indecision. Much like some of the same actions that were taken before the attacks of 9/11.
If Saturday reminded us of anything, it should remind us we can’t be complacent and we certainly can’t show weakness to our enemies across the world.
Our girls turned 20 last week and are in school in Maine, our sons are older and now neither lives in New York City.
They are safe, but how safe?
If you see me, say “Hey!”
Dee McLelland is the Publisher of the Coastal Courier and the Bryan County News.