September 12, 2021
Good morning friends. Twenty years have passed since the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City. On September 11, 2001, at 0845am (eastern time), our world was shocked and horrified by the events that occurred that day. Thousands of innocent people perished, as a result of these cowardly and criminal acts. Many were injured and others died, from various causes, years later. The attack on our nation triggered a war against terrorism. That battle continues to rage today. On this blessed Sunday, I want to honor all the victims and individuals affected by these tragic events. So many families were torn apart by the sadness of one single day. We continue to feel a variety of emotions and effects of that catastrophic day. These past twenty years has done little to sooth our souls. The devastation, death and sorrow continue to fill our hearts, as well as the hearts of many individuals around our globe. Whatever this day means or conjurors in your memory, be sure to talk about it with those that have no recollection or knowledge of this day. Remind them that we don’t want this to occur anywhere on our planet ever again. History allow us to remember, so it won’t be repeated.
The victims are from various cultures, races, nationalities, ethnicities and professions. On this fateful September morning, they would be forever united by; four jet airliners, world renowned twin towers, our military headquarters, an empty field and America. These hallowed grounds became battle zones on American soil. Many first responders (police, law enforcement, fire, medical personnel and even bystanders) who rushed to the aid of the injured, perished that sad day. Terrorists (Al-Qaeda Jihadists), committed this horrendous act directed at our nation. The evil actions that occurred that day, incited a lingering twenty-year battle; which continues to boil and is not yet resolved. Recent actions have created a renewed evil in this volatile region of our world. It’s sad and disturbing knowing more death, destruction and sadness will be the result from the continued madness.
I will never forget the events of September 11, 2001. I, like many of you, remember exactly where I was and what I was doing at the moment of the attack. These memories, and the sadness I feel, are forever etched into my memory. At 6am (pacific time), I stood in a classroom at the Davis Training Facility, in Granada Hills California. Use of Deadly Force was the topic for the early morning class of LAPD recruit police officers. I was a sergeant, assigned to the Tactics Training Unit, and primary instructor for the class. Just after the first plane was flown into the North Tower, an officer knocked on the classroom door to alert me to the news. I turned on the classroom TV monitor. We were all stunned by the images, as we watched together in silence. We witnessed in horror as the second airliner hit the South Tower. The attack on the Pentagon, in Washington DC (at 0945), occurred an hour after the North Tower was hit. Less than fifteen minutes after the attack in our nation’s capital, the collapse of the South Tower occurred. At 1010am, another hijacked jetliner, crashed into a field in Pennsylvania, after passengers and hijackers fought for control of the aircraft. At 1030am the North Tower collapsed. It was a devastating, tragic and sorrow filled day. Sadness turned to hate and disgust of people I knew little about. Today we mourn again, for all the lives lost. We must always preserve the memory of this incident and the individuals taken suddenly and tragically. The world has suffered greatly, from the loss of life and ensuing conflict to fight terrorism.
The actions of that day radically changed the rules and policies of travel and airline flights worldwide. Safety and security systems were implemented to reduce, and hopefully illuminate, these scenarios. Please don’t be complacent or uninformed. Knowledge is power. All Americans, as well as people across this planet, need to be aware of this critical situation. Don’t be self-indulgent, as to shrug off the reality of the world. Our world, is and has been a violent place since mankind evolved into the dominate species. We all want to live in peace and harmony; or at least the majority of us do. Life isn’t about what kind of car you drive. It isn’t about the home you live in or how many toys or possessions you accumulate. When I visit other countries, it’s easy to see, life doesn’t revolve around possessions. This fallacy was created by companies and businesses to get people to buy more stuff, so they make more money. Products are advertised, like a competition, to buy, spend money and accumulate things to create happiness. The problem is, you won’t achieve happiness from buying more items. Possessions may bring some enjoyment or satisfaction, but this isn’t where happiness comes from. Happiness is an internal feeling within each of us, that we ourselves control. I’ve witnessed this phenomenon in many nations, where people are grateful and happy with much less than even our poorest Americans.
While I mourn and honor all those who were killed or injured that day, I don’t live in the past. It serves no purpose to languish in pity or self-despair. I live in the present, learning from past mistakes, so I can build a brighter future. I can’t change what occurred, but I can educate the world, vowing never to let these dark events repeat themselves on our planet. Like with all world history (older than myself), I wasn’t alive to be a part of it or the events that occurred decades ago. If you constantly live in the past, then your actions are part the problem. If you dislike the present, then change your attitude. When you change your thoughts, you can change the world. What happened hundreds of years ago has nothing specifically to do with me (or you) today. I didn’t cause it, wasn’t here and can’t be held responsible. The knowledge I garner from history, especially if hatred or inequality is concerned, helps me to build a brighter future. Attempts to alter or eliminate history; by removing it from books, changing how its taught or tearing down its monuments and writings, is ludicrous.
Today, I honor the thousands who perished on 9-11, and beyond. The ensuing twenty years of conflict and war that followed; killed, injured and displaced millions. Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Iran, Yemen and Pakistan were some of the battlefields to fight terror. Over 800,000 people died from the direct cost of war violence during the past twenty years. Thousands of American service members, civilian contractors and Allied forces have died in these war zones. An estimated 350,000 civilians have been killed in the fighting. The fear, hatred and distrust remain ever present in our land today. These tools for manipulation and control are used as political or media implements to spread anxiety, discourse and division across our nation. What happened to the days when mutual respect and understanding existed among all individuals? In years past our differences were discussed and resolutions created. Today we stand as a divided nation, with seemingly no middle ground. It’s easy to understand why we live in fear. Politicians, social media and news outlets use fear daily to influence how we live, what we do and how we think. Don’t be part of a population of people who believe all you hear and see; spouted by individuals who want to control your life. Wake up America. It’s time you educate yourself with the truth. Don’t believe the lies or fall victim to fear. Seek the truth through reliable and trusted sources. I doubt will it come from local news outlets, social media or agenda motivated politicians. The more you know, the better you will be at making informed and honest decisions.
Please take a moment to honor all the victims and heroes who lost their lives in the name of freedom. In many respects, we are all “victims” of the 9-11 tragedy. This includes the ensuing last twenty years of violence and war. The last two years have been particularly difficult for the entire world. Fear, hatred, manipulation, control; and often populations being held hostage by their own governments, have been the theme. Together, we must remain strong and vigilant to deter the evil that persists in the world. Never stop questioning our leaders or demanding they do what’s in the best interest of our nation and the world. We must demand them to be better. Be the positive change you want to see in our world. Be kind and caring to others, as we often don’t know what pain they may be experiencing in life. Reach and work to achieve your dreams daily. Discipline, integrity and hard work always pay off. I know, because those character traits are integral parts of my life. Be happy with yourself and life will be happy with you. Follow your dreams. They know the way. Never forget.
September is suicide prevention month. Veterans, military, law enforcement, first responders and many other front line workers feel the anxiety and pressures of life. Stress, sorrow, doubt and many others emotions, can become heavy burdens in daily interactions. Let people know you care. One simple act of kindness can brighten a person’s day more than you realize. One smile can start a friendship. One word can end a fight. One look can save a life. One person can change the world. Be there for them, with a smile and open door.
Please tune in and join me again next Sunday for more! The healthy life puzzle is always in rotation. Let’s be healthy and strong mentally, physically and spiritually!
Thanks for your love and support! Embrace Life! Be sure to get outside and enjoy nature!