Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Never Forget.....Ever.

Click these links for a wonderful tribute and reminder of what we must never forget.

This is another excellent tribute video to remember the surreal event that changed our world.

September 11th, 2001. We must sometimes relive the pain to keep our vigilance heightened to meet the continuing threat that this nation faces. I found this video to be a wonderful tribute and reminder of our national heroism, courage, and compassion in one of the darkest hours in our history. Keep the families of the victims and the rescuers that perished this day in your prayers and thoughts.

We must also pray for the brave guardians who have confronted this evil in the War on Terrorism we have asked them to protect us from. They have sacrificed so much for our safety and security. For those brave men and women in our Armed Forces and Intelligence services that we often times take for granted; we SALUTE you!

Take the opportunity to thank a soldier, sailor, marine or any other member of our armed forces for their service.

Not long I stopped for lunch at a small Teriyaki restaurant outside an entrance to Fort Lewis in Tacoma, Washington. I was in a big hurry and it was just off the freeway so I could just buzz in and buzz out. As I exited the freeway I noticed anti-war protesters that were on the overpass of the road that crossed over the other side of the freeway directly into a gated entrance to the base. They were there to protest the return of a Stryker Brigade from a years deployment on that very day and the departure of another brigade to take their place in the fight against terror on the Iraq front. There were only a few devoted anti-war stragglers left as most had gone away when the media coverage had. The freeway overpass was adorned with thousands of yellow ribbons each one no doubt carefully and personally tied by loved ones for their own trooper. Of course many yellow ribbons failed in their intended purpose, and many families would not be there to greet their loved ones who had fallen in the defense of freedom and protecting us from terrorism.

Here were these protesters I thought to myself, there in sight of those soldiers and families entering and exiting the post, soldiers that ironically are guarding the very freedom and protecting their right to protest them for the protesters fleeting moment of glory on the 6:00 evening news at their expense. I guess it was akin to the Nazi Party of America winning the right to parade through the community of Skokie, Illinois many decades ago with it's large population of holocaust survivors. As disgusted as we are by it, it is an example of what America really means.

I ate my lunch and watched one of the finest examples of America's bravest and best who was catching up on the past 12 months of life's events with his lovely young wife over their meal at the counter. Her eyes sparkled as she nuzzled her Black Beret donned Ranger. I walked up next to them at the counter to pay my bill as they were discussing what to order for desert. I quietly asked the owner at the register how much I owed, and then I asked him how much their meal was including the desert they had just ordered. He didn't really understand exactly what I was asking and my Korean just isn't as good as it could be. But I finally impressed upon him what I wanted to do, paid him and headed for the door. The young couple were oblivious to the world around them at the moment, so in love and so happy to be together after a year apart and I certainly didn't want to disturb their reunion.

Just as I got to the door the young trooper called out "Excuse me sir". I turned and he came over to me and said "Thank you very much for our meal sir." Evidently the owner told them I picked up their tab. To which I replied, "No, no, thank you, for all you do to protect this us and our country with your service. It is the least I can do for you and your wife also sacrificing so much for such an important mission. It is truly my honor and my pleasure."

This young soldier looked into my eyes with a confidence and self-assured strength and maturity belying his young age (I guessed he was in his early twenties) and we each saw the sincerity of gratitude through welling eyes. I extended my hand to shake his, (I wasn't about to dishonor him with a botched salute due to my lack of military experience) I turned to his wife and nodded as she beamed with such pride for her soldier and this public recognition and appreciation they had just received. I told them goodbye and as I walked to the car I was so hopeful that my small gesture of appreciation could offset and counter anything that they would see or had seen by those protesters dressed in black on that overpass today, or even beyond this day itself.

It was perhaps the best $20 bucks I have ever spent.

God Bless America and please remember to fly your flag today. We should probably fly it every day.

Michael R. Bednarz

1 comment:

  1. Through my tears, hormonal or otherwise induced all I can say is I love you...


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