I took this picture today as my family and I were on our way home from the Minnesota History Museum. On Main Street in Anoka a group of motorcyclists stood here with flags and signs, and a few loyal passerby honked their horns. I love how I live in an area (Anoka county) that has flags on every overpass all year long. I love how every year a group comes to this place to raise more flags and remind us of this terrible day.
We must never forget. As it has been 13 years since it happened, I still feel sick to my stomach when I am alone and thinking of it. When I see the images on the TV screen, I still cry. When I sing the Star-Spangled Banner at the games I still get choked up.
Maybe I feel things too much, but this event still affects me. I wasn't even here, I was in Paris. I didn't know anybody that were in the planes or in NYC. But I felt the fear for the first time, fear that my country, now beloved, might cease to be.
Maybe I am being melodramatic, but I know that empires come and go. Countries change from one day to the next. Governments shift from kingdoms to republics. At one time the middle east was the epicenter of art and science while Europe was in the middle of the dark ages. Now it is a wasteland in a never-ending war.
We are a new country. We are patriotic. Many times in Europe I heard comments on how patriotic Americans are. We sing our anthem as we drive by our embassies. We proudly display our flags at restaurants, stores, and government buildings. We hold our hands to our hearts as we sing the anthem at the games, watching the flag wave in the wind.
Will we always be so patriotic, or will we eventually be divided like so many other past empires, fighting over a piece of land. Fighting between religions and race, culture and caste. It never seems to end, this human need to battle others for this piece of land.
I don't know. But I do know that as long as I am here, I am going to hold my hand to my heart as I sing the anthem at games. I am going to vote in every election, even though I doubt my vote counts. If I don't do my part, if I don't remain faithful to the founders of this great nation and those thousands upon thousands that fought and died for our freedoms, then the enemy has won.
I am not going to give up. I am not going to give in. Freedom is too precious a thing to throw away. People all over the world die for freedom. I received it from the blood of martyrs.
God Bless America!