September 11, 2001. The largest terrorist attack our nation has seen. Where were you as those planes entered our New York skyline? As those two skyscapers came tumbling down? As the heroes took the third plane down in that Pennsylvania field? As countless firefighters, policemen, paramedics and military searched for survivers?
I was in an engineering class, when Bryan called and told me about the first plane. Class was dismissed. I was in shock. I obviously didn't understand what he was saying. My (genius) response was "Oh my gosh! Was anyone hurt?!?" Idiot, I know. An engineer, at that. But to me, and so many of us out there, this couldn't happen to us, right?? As me and friends joined him at his house, and watched the day's events unfold on the t.v., the reality set in. We were under attack. The land of the free.
Ft. Benning is home to the brand new National Infantry Museum. It's amazing. Last week we held a very special ceremony. We received one of only four steel beams from the twin towers being given away. We also received a statue of Rick Rescorla, a former Infantryman then working in the towers, one of the countless heroes of September 11th, who sacrificed his life in order for others to be saved.The beam is 12 feet long, and approximately 1-1/2 tons, and dedicated to the men and women of the US Army who've lost their lives since the attacks on September 11, 2001, and to those who continue to serve. After our Commanding General unveiled the beam, we were all able to go up and sign it. Just to be near such a massive piece of steel, to know this may have been hundreds of feet in the sky, to touch it, sign it, know where its been, what it went through, what those 3,000 people went through, was the most humbling experience.
Though this Global War on Terrorism has taken twists and turns, I see pride in the soldiers' eyes, determination, and strength. I see homesickness, sadness, and loss. I am proud of my country, have faith in my troops, and pray that the small light at the end of the tunnel brings them home safe. And I pray our leadership makes the wise decisions we so desperately need to end this war, turn our country around, and remove the fear. And remind everyone who we are.
The Home of the Brave.