Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Real Focus Of This Day

Today is one of those days you never forget. I was walking distance from the Pentagon when it all went down, so it is just as vivid to me as anyone. But rather than write some mock patriotic post about how we should never forget what happened, I would rather let this letter speak to what the true focus of this day should be.

Dear Gellman,

I am actually writing you from my base in Iraq, where Im sure you never expected to be reaching with your blog (there are collectors here, too). Today is pretty weird around here, as you can imagine all the people with ties to the WTC and the Pentagon. One of the guys in my unit actually had a family member on flight 93, so this day is always tough for him. Either way, I wanted to write this email to you so that you can have something worthwhile to post today. I have spent most of the day reading a bunch of crap on the news sites and watching some streaming video of newscasts from back home. None of them seem to focus on the outcome of what happened this day, they only focus on the day itself. Please tell your readers to think of the troops who are giving their lives, giving the youth of their children, and giving everything to their country to fight the war that stemmed from this awful day. That should be the focus. Focus on my best friend here who has three kids and mother who may not see 2009. He is here, fighting. Focus on a woman I patrol with, who has a brother she left behind with a bunch of issues. She is here fighting. These people need your prayers, I need your prayers. But most of all, tell your readers to focus on living the lives we die everyday to defend.

Thank you very much,
US Army

Robert, good luck, our thoughts are with you and your family.


  1. Agreed.

    See, I always thought the problem with 9/11 was that we (the US and especially the media) was so focused on "NEVER FORGET" that they actually are forgetting that the message should be "NEVER AGAIN".

    See, I seem to remember all the speeches in 2001 mentioning that we should go on with our lives, and not to change anything, or the terrorists would win.

    Now, we have the Patriot Act, airline fees, a hugely unpopular police action (Remember, it takes an Act of Congress to declare war, and I'm not certain we've had one of those since World War II)...and every year on 9/11 it's "Don't forget those who died."

    Screw that. How about we cover the people fighting? How about we cover what we're doing to make sure this shit NEVER happens again?

    And how about we (collectively) finally realize the fact that the rest of the world has been dealing with this stuff for a /long/ time, and we're the only ones who viewed it with the shock of a virgin finding out what sex was like for the first time.

    Sorry if I'm venting a bit there. I have the utmost respect for the men and women serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.

    I have next to no respect for the government that has mismanaged everything for a long time (not pointing at a political party here) and even less for the media who is more at fault for the aura of fear and mistrust that pervades our country.

    I'd like to say that electing (Obama/McCain) would fix some of the problems, but let's be honest. People are broken. And nothing's going to really change until we get fixed.

    (By we, I'm speaking collectively about the entire population, by the by.)

  2. Very well said. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Robert - Thank you very much for serving our country. I love sports, but the professional athletes we, as a society, have the tendency to build up as our heroes do nothing compared to you guys. Sure Arod can hit a baseball, and Tom Brady can throw a football (well, could throw a football until last weeked;) better then almost anyone on the planet, but what does that really matter in the big picture? You and the other brave men and women in the United States Armed Forces put your lives on the line to defend our way of life and are the real "heroes". My family and I wish all of you a safe return and will keep you in our thoughts an prayers.