Remembering our patriots

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 11, 2007

To The Editor:

President Bush has proclaimed Sept. 11, 2007 as Patriot Day. He ordered that all flags be flown at half-staff all day in honor of those who lost their lives.

Sept. 11 conjures up reflections and emotions in most Americans concerning the carnage inflicted upon us on that day in 2001. The roll call of innocent lives brutally taken is hauntingly still with us. The brave firemen, policemen and emergency personnel who responded and were killed remain freshly in our minds. The heroics of the people of Flight 93 who brought the airplane down rather than allow the assassins to carry out their plans, is the real stuff Americans are made of.

Email newsletter signup

Speaking of real stuff, the men and women of our all volunteer military services deserve kudos for their efforts in the war on terrorism. They have performed magnificently in spite of all the bickering and deep political divisions back home. In spite of two and three deployments to Iraq for some, most remain committed to the cause. We have come to expect excellence and complete devotion to duty from our men and women in uniform and for the most part, they haven’t disappointed. There can be no greater satisfaction, excepting spiritual matters, than service to one’s country. It is a privilege rather than a duty.

We can’t forget the many dedicated public servants either.

Our firemen, policemen and emergency responders are an integral part of the security and safety of our community in addition to their role in Homeland Security. Patriot Day should be about all of those who make our lives safer each and every day.

I was moved last week with an article by Selma Times-Journal Editor, Tammy Leytham, about patriot Frank Leutner, a World War II veteran. I’m sure Leutner would have loved Patriot Day. Most military veterans are staunch supporters of our government and loyal patriots. Veterans of all wars have fought to preserve the freedoms and opportunities of our nation for those who follow. The veterans I know consider being referred to as flag wavers a badge of honor.

The events of Sept. 11 set in motion a course of going on the offensive against Al-Qaeda and radical regimes who would harbor them. After successfully taking out Al-Qaeda’s training camps in Afghanistan and defeating the Taliban, but failing to capture public enemy No. 1 Osama Bin Laden, our attention turned to Iraq and Saddam Hussein.

After Saddam disobeyed or ignored numerous resolutions passed by the inept United Nations, we took him out. As you well know, the end on that saga has yet to be determined. It appears to me that some of the Iraqi still deserve Saddam Hussein. It’s for sure our intelligence services were far off in their assessment of what actually was in Iraq and what would happen if Saddam were taken out of power. Clearly an indication our ability to gather and disseminate intelligence was badly broken.

In closing, we have all heard Osama Bin Laden this and Osama Bin Laden that for the past six years. Now, the only thing I want to hear is Osama Bin Gotten. If it takes from now until doomsday, he must be gotten. Although it won’t end terrorism or the war against it, it will end a bloody chapter of murder and mayhem.

James G. Smith

Public Relations Officer

The American Legion Post 20