9/11 - We Will Never Forget

Today is an important day for Americans - 9/11. Throughout our history there have been many such events that mark us as a nation. Times we will never forget. Franklin Roosevelt called the attack on Pearl Harbor "a day that would live in infamy". We now add 9/11 to this list. Listening to the names being read off this morning, one could not help but be moved to tears as loved ones added their family's names to the list of over 3000 names.

Let Freedom Ring!

Our nation began with events such as this - fighting against tyranny across the Atlantic Ocean. After the French and Indian War, King George decided the colonies would have to pay taxes because the war cost so much money. The colonists did not want to pay for King George's war. Military force was used to coerce the colonists to pay - people were thrown in prison, hung, and even tar and feathered for not paying the taxes. British troops fired into a crowd of people, killing many. The Boston Massacre in 1770 showed just how brutal the British could be. The colonists decided this was not fair and we fought back by declaring our independence.

The Eagle in the Senate room at Independence Hall

Once we became a nation there was the War of 1812 when British troops not only invaded Washington, DC but burned the White House. American soldiers were being captured and impressed into service for England, trade restrictions kept us from trading with France, and Britain sided with the Indians as we tried to expand northwest.

Our White House still survives

In 1898, the Maine was sunk in Havana when it was sent to protect US interests in Cuba. After that the words "Remember the Maine, to hell with Spain!" was echoed through the streets. Most of the crew were sleeping or resting in their quarters when it happened. Over 250 men lost their lives that day. Most of the officers only survived because their quarters were aft, far from the area exploded.  The sinking was one of the main causes of the Spanish-American War.

9/11 Memorial at the Fire Museum in Philadelphia

Our entry into World War I came not long after the sinking of the Lusitania. The United States had interests in Britain and France at the time of the war and managed to stay out for several years.  A German U-boat sank the Lusitania as it traveled from New York to Great Britain. Almost 1200 people died, and 128 of them were Americans. Many people believe if  not for the sinking of this ship, America would have stayed out of the war, but others feel something else would have brought the US into WWI.

They signed their names because they believed in freedom

The attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese occurred on a Sunday morning, December 7, 1941. Up to this point, the United States had managed to stay directly out of the war, even though they were preparing to battle just in case. Most of the ships were sitting peacefully at their slips, the men sleeping in their bunks when the attack began. The following day, American declared war on Japan.

It may be tattered and torn, but it still means freedom

These are the ones we remember the most. The ones that we see on the news all the time. Other wars we entered because we disapproved of the way people across the world were being treated. 9/11 brought the fear of attack on Americans back home again. This was not an attack on soldiers stationed in other places of the world, this was an attack on innocent civilians as they went about their daily business. Osama bin Laden declared responsibility for the attacks and claimed he did it because the US supported Isreal, they had troops in Saudi Arabia, and because of sanctions against Iraq. Many believe he had a deep hatred for the United States because he disapproved of our way of life and struck out at us in New York because of this.

International Space Station - good things happen
when we work together

Today is a day of remembrance. We need to remember why we fought for our freedom in 1775 and declared our independence.  We need to remember why we fought the Civil War - to give everyone a chance to be free. We need to remember no one has the right to hurt someone else because they don't like what they do. People like that are bullies. Bullies come in all shapes and sizes, sometimes even as big as countries, but if people stand together for what is right, then bullies will never really succeed.

When we remember those who died on September 11, 2001, let's also remember those who put their lives on the line every day for our freedom - the servicemen and women both here and overseas. Let's remember that the very first people who stood up for themselves did so because they believed in the right to live their lives without someone forcing them to live differently. Most of all, let's remember that across the world, not everyone is lucky enough to live the life we lead - with the freedom to choose.

Here's a special thank you to PV2 Tidball - our own soldier serving in Afghanistan! We want to send our thanks to you and the rest of the men and women serving with you! Thank you for helping to keep us safe when we are resting in our beds at night.

PV2 Tidball with Lefty and Righty -
 We are so proud of you

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