Katherine Reese Kusza
I remember September 11, 2001.
It was a beautiful, clear, late summer morning.
I put my eldest on the school bus for kindergarten and packed up my 3-year-old to drive to preschool.
I was heavily pregnant with my third child, suffering from all day sickness, but looking forward to a few hours of solitude to catch up on errands.
For some reason I didn’t turn on the radio in the car that morning. My daughter and I just enjoyed the ride. She liked to sing. I had no cell phone at the time.
I got home midmorning and the house phone was ringing. It was my husband.
“Turn on the news”.
And I did. And like for so many, the world would never be the same.
I tried to call my family in New York, but couldn’t get through. The phone lines were overloaded.
I next called my boss at the weekly newspaper where I worked. I would collect the kids, find out what I could from television and the internet, start writing at home and come into the office that evening.
I was a bad mother that day.
The television stayed on (I finally had the wherewithal to put videos on for the kids). They ate junk.
I surfed the net for anything I could find about terrorists, the 1993 World Trade Center bombing – anything.
I kept trying to call New York.
At about four o’clock in the afternoon, I miraculously got through to my grandfather. It wasn’t the greatest connection, but he said, as far as he knew, everyone in the immediate family was safe for now.
My husband finally got home so I could go to work and my boss and I could set the paper. We put it to bed on Tuesday nights (it came out on Fridays).
The lead article was written with what little information we had, but at least the President had spoken and we knew Al-Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden were involved.
Twenty years later it doesn’t feel any less awful. By dumb luck I didn't lose an immediate family member or close friend. Sure, a cousin I never met died in the Towers and other relatives worked the pile. Plenty of people I grew up with suffered greatly.
That’s not the point.
September 11th was an assault on this country by Stone Age barbarians who have no problem murdering and raping women and children, using civilians as human shields and blowing up ordinary citizens working in an office building.
On that day, 343 firefighters, 37 Port Authority police officers, 23 NYPD, 8 EMS and 1 fire patrolman responded to the Twin Towers and never went home. On United Flight 93, a few good men stood up to the bad and kept one plane from killing countless more. And who could have imagined the Pentagon wasn't safe?
In the last 17 years, I have had the privilege to work with and care for dozens of men and women who later put their lives on the line in Iraq and Afghanistan to try and eliminate the threat, and did so for two decades. Many came home battered and broken and grieving the loss of their brothers and sisters.
Their service and sacrifice, in a war against men with no honor, will never be forgotten.
The incompetents running this country are squandering that. We lost 13 more servicemen and women and untold civilians in August as the traitors in the White House deliver Afghanistan back to the Taliban.
They say it was ISIS, but they are all cut from the same cloth. Decent men do not strap bombs to human beings or fly planes into buildings or chop off people’s heads and hands or beat women in the street for not covering their faces.
After September 11th, America stood up at said, “No”. This will not be tolerated. We do not negotiate with terrorists.
Unfortunately, we are dealing with people playing a long game and we began the slippery slope of giving in to fear by allowing the government to frisk all of us at the airport (instead of just profiling those who might actually be terrorists).
We allowed the government to start spying on us through the “Patriot Act” (I knew that wouldn’t end well).
Schoolchildren aren't even taught about it.
The squishes in charge didn’t have the stomach to do what needed to be done and there was far too much money to be made (as always) drawing out our time in the desert. It is hard to win a war when we are supposed to fight fair and the other side doesn’t.
There was a plan to stop mucking about in the sandbox and Biden and Harris and their woke generals sure found a way to screw it up.
I would say September 11th is a good time for Americans to stand up and say, “No."
We will not be ruled by fear. We do not negotiate with terrorists. We will not comply. We do not consent.