Updated: Sep 10, 2020
It is that time of year again.
No, I'm not talking about back to school, or even pumpkin spice season -- although, yours truly has already set out a few fall decorations.
It is 9/11
Or otherwise known as "Patriot Day."
It is the day we remember that fateful time in the not-so-distant history of our nation when Islamic Extremist terrorists flew planes into the Twin Towers in New York, the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and crashed an aircraft in a Pennsylvania field. Almost three thousand lives were lost and countless injured.
Not long after this heinous event, I recall witnessing my now late husband and others as they professed the following promise: " . . . do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same . . ." while being sworn in to the California National Guard / Army Reserves. Having served in the U.S. Navy many years before, my husband had joined the Guard to serve in the Chaplain Corps of an Intel unit which later deployed to Iraq.
Like you, Dear Hearts, my friend groups are split down the middle into approximately half Democrat and half Republican. I'm fine with it. I learn from both camps. I find that reasonable folks in each party have one thing in common: They deeply care about this country: True Americans. They may have different ideas about solutions to our problems, but those who are reasonable, intelligent, and adept at conflict resolution on both sides are able to come together.
What is not fine are extremists. Not in politics, religion, or any base ideology. No one wins. Many are harmed.
On this day, nineteen years after the worst attack in our nation's history since the bombing of Pearl Harbor, we experience extremism in our government as well as sub groups around the country who terrorize defenseless seniors, children, and the unarmed.
While some blame our officials for our situations, still others -- True Americans -- are busy helping the less fortunate, taking care of their neighbors, and solving problems in their communities.
As the west coast burns, firefighters tirelessly stand fast against blazing infernos, rescuing citizens, saving lives, supporting one another. It is beyond dangerous work, putting their own lives on the line; many have already evacuated their own families. The task is grueling and never ending -- but they press on day after day, week after week.
California National Guard -- the very military organization mentioned above -- rolls into theater like the cavalry and lends a hand as well as heavy artillery. They don't quit.
Religious groups and non-profits pitch in. Southern Baptists have become the masters of disaster relief, training their own people, and providing help at their own expense. One hundred percent of all donations to their disaster relief program goes to exactly that -- no salaries, all volunteer. Catholic Charities and Salvation Army have a long history of providing food, medical help, and clothing for communities. Ecumenical groups and non-profits set up their facilities to serve evacuated families along with proper precautions during a pandemic. These are just a few examples of the multitudes who come to the aid of their fellow man.
A crew of civilian maintenance workers quietly bring bags of groceries to seniors in an apartment complex of folks fifty-five and over, providing fresh produce from their own personal gardens and several grocery bags filled with packaged goods. No fanfare.
Bikers band together to rescue children from traffickers.
A courageous woman stands up to a group of thugs -- some dub them "domestic terrorists" -- in her neighborhood and shouts, "We're better than this!!" And we are.
Law enforcement who takes responsibility for their own -- policing on the inside -- properly and consistently serving their community in the interest of safety for everyone; even though they receive little if any pats on the back as they are not the officers who make the evening news.
Mail carriers, medical professionals, caregivers, grocery store clerks et al who, although they face insurmountable obstacles in their own lives, serve well beyond the scope of their job descriptions and figure out ways to help.
Those of us who firmly believe our own freedom is not at the expense of others and vice versa. We treasure it for each individual. Every gender, color, age, religion, and vocation,
You get the idea, Dear Hearts. Our politicians spout rhetoric in order to get elected. Our government may seemingly fail us. Fingers are pointed at the media.
But these entities do not define us.
We do, Yes, our nation has painful sketchiness in her history. We have some in our present. And as long as there is greed and / or a sense of entitlement, pain will also be in our future. Yet, with all of her issues, the fact remains that none of us want to leave; millions of others risk life and limb for the opportunity to live here.
When all is said and done, we are the True Americans -- the ones who take care of one another in spite of all ills [not the sub groups of extremists] -- who make this country work, and defend the Constitution from all enemies, domestic and abroad.
And there are millions and millions of us: from every socioeconomic group.
So, as we recognize this eleventh day of September in the year 2020, along with mourning the loss of three thousand people in our country, celebrate the True American on this Patriot Day; the one who makes a difference in the lives of others.
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