The people's voice of reason

Tears & Laughter - We are woke, but are we awake?

It depends on how old you are, but most people in the United States can tell time by the attacks that took place on September 11, 2001. There was before, and then there was after.

Everybody remembers where they were. I was home. The kids were little, they were playing…too young to fully comprehend what was happening.

It was before cell phones were common and my husband had called home from work asking what was happening. I was standing in front of the television. I had been glued to the screen all morning. I was telling him what I could based on what I was hearing and seeing. I was on the phone with him when the first tower fell, and while watching it happen, I told him, “Hold-on, this can’t be right.” My mind could not accept what my eyes were seeing.

Prior to September 11, 2001…many Americans had never experienced anything that had been surreal. People watching on television several states away did not experience it on the same level as residents in Manhattan, but all Americans were affected because America – our America – had been attacked. Thousands of American lives had been lost.

People were scared, nobody felt secure. We had no assurance there wouldn’t be other attacks. But underneath all of the tragedy and sadness, above all of the fear, was an overwhelming sense of unity. We were Americans. Our flag served as a cover of comfort and oneness.

President Bush spoke shortly after the attacks. He told the nation, he told the world, that the acts of mass murder were intended to frighten the United States into chaos and retreat, but they had failed…that our country was strong.

President Biden needs to come out now – twenty years later – and assure confidence that our nation is still strong. The way Afghanistan fell so quickly to Taliban rule when American troops were pulled is alarming. It was poorly planned and executed. The events on the ground there prove it. The world has helplessly watched it unfold over the last few days. Scenes from the Kabul airport will stay with us…just like the snapshots in our minds from September 11.

Getting people out of Afghanistan safely should have happened on the front end of this withdrawal, it should have been factored into the plan and the fact that it wasn’t makes the Biden administration look weak and unprepared. There are thousands of Americans and American allies stranded to fend for themselves in a war zone.

If the White House comes across as weak, the entire country looks weak. And it does look weak. Every speaker sent out in ill-fitted suits from the State Department seems to unveil another layer of weakness and unpreparedness. Our Generals wear uniforms that hang like they were tailored for someone else. It is as if the one department doesn’t communicate with the other. They do not share the same message. What is happening, and what they are saying is happening, do not match. Anybody watching and listening can see.

It makes America look vulnerable. It puts the nation at risk. And it was possibly preventable.

At first glance, the Taliban doesn’t seem to be a very inclusive group. I don’t think they are woke. I don’t think they give a damn about pronouns. They don’t obey mandates.

As a nation, many of our recent focuses have had little relevance and hold no meaningful value. Leadership matters, and having powerful strength is important. We, the unified people, may be wise to remember that we help steer both.


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