"Or last message is to the Americans. Soon we will be in direct confrontation, and the Sons of Islam have prepared for such a day. So watch, for we are with you." —Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, self-proclaimed Caliph of ISIS
It was a beautiful, clear 11th day of September 2001 when it all started. I still remember the patient I was seeing that morning and the appearance of her lumbar films. As the day progressed, people told us more about what they'd seen on the news.
The recollection of the beautiful clear day reminds me of the reminiscence of survivors of Pearl Harbor. It was beautiful that day, too. It is as though the beauty of the day nature's God intended stands in stark contrast to the impending ugliness of black smoke raping a blue sky.
Most of us remember where we were that day, what we were doing, and how we felt when we first heard the news of the attack. I remember other landmarks in my lifetime, such as the assassination of President Kennedy, the explosion of the Columbia as it launched into space, or the aftermath of Katrina. We mark our existence with such events.
The video of the Twin Towers coming down looked surreal. We live in an age of amazing special effects in disaster movies that blur our understanding of reality. But, this was real. Smoke and flame invaded a crystal blue sky. People were jumping from the buildings to avoid a fiery, slower death. Heroic first responders flooded the scene, risking all to save whoever they could. Stunned survivors wandered away from the scene covered in dust and soot. Three commercial aircraft with passengers, crew, and as we discovered, their Islamic murderers, were lost, and the rest of our commercial fleet was grounded immediately.
How could such a thing happen? Who did this? Questions were asked in horror that turned quickly to anger.
We speak sometimes of a nation losing its innocence with such disasters. Innocence, once lost, is not regained. Successive generations, though, have not had the experiences that are etched into our memories, so nations can forget. We must not forget. We are in a perpetual state of war with an enemy that does not forget.
Judaism anticipates an apocalyptic age with the coming of a Messiah. Christians anticipate an apocalyptic time with the return of a Messiah. Radical Islam seeks to create an apocalyptic time by killing all Jews and Christians in obedience to the Koran. Radical Islam is not a peaceful religion. It is a religion of mass murder, beheadings and crucifixions.
The latest rendition of this deadly scourge, known as ISIS, has promised to kill Americans here in America. They enjoy high profile mass murders committed on significant anniversaries for the terror effect. ISIS is already on American soil. According to Judicial Watch, "Islamic terrorist groups are operating in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez and planning to attack the United States with car bombs or other vehicle born improvised explosive devices (VBIED)."
So, there will be more 9/11 attacks in our future, and likely sooner rather than later. Are we ready? Do we have leadership that is fully engaged to protect America?
America has elected leadership that is in full denial. A radical Islamist terrorist attack at Fort Hood was labeled "workplace violence" to avoid a political truth. America's leadership has declared that the war is over, a message that is lost on the enemy. For the sake of political correctness, America's leadership will not even name the enemy for fear of offending someone. America's leadership insists on leaving the southern border open as an invitation for any and all to invade, and they already have.
America's leadership seeks help from the world to defend America, looking to allies such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates—all of which are funding our enemy, ISIS. America's leadership is so determined not to be directly engaged with the enemy that it has willingly lost Iraq and will do the same with Afghanistan, even as the new radical Islamist caliphate metastasizes.
Where is the focus of our leadership? Recently, President Obama issued a proclamation, declaring September as "National Preparedness Month." He urges Americans to assemble an emergency kit with supplies in case of a disaster. Is this related to the threat of terrorism? No, really the focus is on climate change. In the face of the greatest danger America has faced, our leaders are focused on the weather. The leading candidate for the presidency in the 2016 election has just stated, "Climate change is the most consequential, urgent, sweeping collection of challenges we face."
In 1943, the most powerful, modern, and heavily armed battleship in the world was the Bismarck. After it caused much havoc in the Atlantic Ocean, an antiquated torpedo plane took an unlikely, but lucky shot that hit Bismarck's rudder. The most powerful battleship in the world suddenly could not control its direction and was helpless. Is America floundering now without a rudder? Are we so lost in political correctness and denial that we, too, are floundering helplessly? The President recently said he had no strategy to confront ISIS in Syria, their home. The Bismarck was sunk shortly after it lost the ability to steer.
We face and unrelenting enemy, driven by a murderous ideology. They like anniversaries for striking. The anniversary is upon us, and it is the 13th year since the war began. We, the citizens, should prepare ourselves, even if leadership does not. What can we do?
Stay informed. Read and watch the news. Pray. Be vigilant, particularly if you are traveling. Pray more. Vote. And, by the way, the emergency kit is not a bad idea.
Above all, watch the video of the attack on the Twin Towers at least on this anniversary every year so that we do not forget. Show it to children so that they understand why we are at war. Let us burn those horrific images into our minds. Let us never forget.