I was cleaning the toilet. I’ll always remember that I was scrubbing the toilet when my kids ran into the bathroom to tell me that the Twin Towers had been hit. I was working in the Sears Garden Center when I heard about President Reagan being shot, and I was driving home with my husband-to-be from a visit to the Biltmore House in Asheville when I learned about Elvis’ death, but when our world changed forever on that Tuesday morning, I was doing that simple, mundane chore.
Every Tuesday, we met with another homeschooling family for science co-op and it was our turn to host, hence the bathroom cleaning. They got the news before we did – I never had the television or radio on in the mornings before our homeschool day started (or it would never get started), so I generally did not get any breaking news before noon. They called and told us to turn on the television and my kids ran in to tell me – I ran out into the family room, saying, “Oh no! Oh no!” I knew in my heart as soon as I heard the news, before I even saw the images, that we were under attack by terrorists.
Science co-op did not happen that day, but we spent much of that day with our friends, who came on over anyway, watching the whole day play out on the television screen. It was hard to realize that what we were watching was lives being snuffed out, untold grief created for so many families. I split my time between the television coverage and the live stream on Free Republic, where I read the panic so many were suffering, not knowing where their loved ones were or what target might be hit next. By the time that day was over, the idea of our living in a little protected bubble here in the United States seemed long dead.
In fact, although most of us did not realize it, that protected bubble was really a figment of our imagination. What happened on September 11, 2001, was bound to happen. Even though we do not want to recognize it, the fact is that we have been in a religious war with the Middle East for much longer than a couple of decades. And, despite the fact that we may refuse to recognize it, many of the radical elements in the Middle East do acknowledge it and act on it – and they are accelerating and intensifying the war. Benghazi? The uptick in persecution of Christians in the Middle East? The recent beheadings of two journalists?
We are living in a fool’s paradise if we think we can avoid this war because we are so far away here in the United States. They brought the war to us here on our soil thirteen years ago, and they are eager to do it again. We have been fortunate so far to have avoided another “9/11” so far.
As Justin O. Smith wrote in the American Thinker,
“During the past decades, the U.S. has witnessed Islamic-inspired terror plots, designed to kill hundreds and thousands, foiled by the Grace of God, luck and good investigative work and intelligence information. Najibullah Zazi hoped to detonate a triacetone triperoxide-based explosive in the New York subway close to September 11, 2009; in April 2013, Ahmed Abassi, a chemical engineering graduate student at Laval University in Quebec, planned to murder upwards of 100,000 people, by contaminating the water supply of a major U.S. city.”
Thank God for all the skilled investigators and intelligence officers who have managed to foil the next attack on our own soil over and over again, but I have to ask, “Why do we make their jobs so difficult?” Why do we allow a porous border to our south, where so many people can enter without so much as an ID check? Do we honestly think that an organization like ISIS who is hell bent on our destruction will not take advantage of that?
I’m afraid that many of us are going about our daily lives, back in that protected little bubble, thinking we are safe here, they can’t reach us here. Folks, our leaders have left the back door wide open and we are in danger. When are we going to wake up to that fact and elect people who take our national security seriously? Will it take another 9/11?