“Never forget!” Those of us who lived it will never forget! But, it’s just another Zinnian history lesson to the next generation, told in political terms with hateful accusations and divisive innuendo.
In a time when whiny protests by ungrateful and irreverent athletes are mimicked and applauded by a whining generation who know their rights but little else, much less the truth, we need to make time to honor real heroes who truly loved family, friends, and country to the point of sacrificing their very lives to save countless other lives they did not even know.
September 11, 2001, dawned a beautiful, blue sky day in America. Too soon smoke and ashes blotted out sunlight and rained sorrow down on all true patriots. Two commercial jetliners piloted by radical Islamic terrorists flew into the two towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. A third jetliner hijacked by other Islamic terrorists was flying toward Washington, DC.
Passengers onboard United Flight 93 flying from Newark, NJ, to San Francisco, CA, knew their aircraft had been hijacked. Because they had access to telephones on the plane, they called loved ones only to learn how dire their circumstances really were. Then they made a plan.
Ten years later in his speech dedicating the Flight 93 Memorial near Shanksville, PA, President George W. Bush described the disparate group of passengers on Flight 93 this way:
“Aboard United Airlines Flight 93 were college students from California, an iron worker from New Jersey, veterans of the Korean War and World War II, citizens of Germany and Japan, a pilot who had rearranged his schedule so that he could take his wife on a vacation to celebrate their anniversary.” Real people, but not ordinary people.
With Muslim terrorists looking on, passengers voted on a plan to retake the airplane’s cockpit. They didn’t know whether their counter offensive would be a suicide mission, but they did know they would save many others that day from this terrorist attack. Passengers prayed and voted under the glaring eyes of their radical captors before charging and overcoming pure evil.
President Bush continued, “With their selfless act, the men and women who stormed the cockpit lived out the words, ‘Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’ And with their brave decision, they launched the first counter offensive of the war on terror. The most likely target of the hijacked plane was the United States Capitol. We’ll never know how many innocent people might have been lost, but we do know this, Americans are alive today because the passengers and crew of Flight 93 chose to act, and our nation will be forever grateful.”
Islamic terrorism is pure evil. Passengers and crew of Flight 93 overcame pure evil with love of family and sacrifice for country that day.
Days after the brutal encounters with evil, members of Congress from both sides of the aisle held hands on the capitol steps and sang, “God bless America.” We were one nation, not whining about rights and slights, but uniting against self-righteous godlessness of the satanic kind.
There are larger causes in this life than safe spaces and senseless debates about which lives or flags matter more. This week let’s ponder the real sacrifices millions have made for larger causes like God, family, and country.
Daniel L. Gardner is a syndicated columnist who lives in Starkville, Miss. He can be reached at [email protected]