3652 Days Later

I couldn’t sleep last night. I stayed up until about 1:30, scouring the net for September 11 videos–memorials, tributes, commentaries … anything I could click on. The effect was reflection on my memories of September 11, 2001.

It wasn’t until the night of September 12 that I realized just how petrified and scared I was. I feared for my family’s, friends’ and neighbors’ safety. I feared for the children I didn’t even have yet. I feared what kind of world they would be brought into. I shook with a fear that I had never known was possible. The more I thought about it, the more enraged I became at not knowing how to control my situation. I had always had some element of understanding and control of any surroundings. This feeling of utter helplessness was completely foreign to me.

I wrote an open letter to the terrorists in a journal entry about a week later. In it, I specifically called out that their attempt at striking fear and terror in at least my heart and mind as fleeting and over. I refused to modify my way of life to accommodate a modicum of fear.

My brother and I made a pact with our wives that, if there had been a draft, we would have gotten them situated, and we would have gone off to fight.

10 years later, I stare in the face of evil and rededicate myself to never letting that feeling overcome me again. I know how to handle the fear and confusion. In fact, the fear and confusion are gone. In their place, I find a renewed sense of purpose as an American citizen with each passing day.

As my buddy Russ put on his Facebook wall, “Terrorists can kiss my Mormon @$$.” Yes, terrorists. You may. You can kiss my ass because I allow you. But that is all I allow you to do. You will not frighten me. You will not disrupt my way of life. You can try to knock over our buildings; you can attempt to blow up our Navy ships. You will *NEVER* break our will. We’ve already beaten you because WE are the United States of America. WE defend truth and right. WE fight for freedom and liberty. WE provide nations the security and peace they deserve as human beings. And we do this in the name of our God.

YOU CANNOT WIN. We choose freedom over tyranny. We will find you. We will fight you. And we will win. Always.

Never forget.

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