Incite -- (v) 1: give an incentive; 2: provoke or stir up; "incite a riot"; 3: urge on; cause to act
Saturday, September 11, 2004

The future depends on us
Written by: Beck

On this day, in ancient and largely forgotten history, a large and powerful nation--still young by the standards of its Western European antecedents--was delivered a devastating surprise attack from an enemy which the world had largely ignored before that day. Men without even a country to call their true home stole a handful of transportation machines (known as air planes, jets, or "Boeings" in the vernacular of the time) from their operators and plunged them into some of that young nation's most important buildings.

Two of those buildings, mighty centers of international commerce, symbols of the triumph of free people over enslaved, of the power of peaceful people engaged in commerce, of technology and engineering, indeed, symbols of the power and achievement of which free people are capable, fell in thousand foot columns of smoke and fire. Nearly three thousand people died in that attack and another against the headquarters of their military--the world's most powerful. Indeed, the strength, pride, and determination of that nation's free people was so great that one of the four planes never found its target. That plane's captors--trained in military tactics and combat--were overwhelmed by the might of civilians who were unwilling to die passively.

The spirit of those passengers upon that last plane served as inspiration for the rest of the nation. They demonstrated that human freedom is too great and important to cede to the hands of the forces of slavery, the cult of death. On that day, the free nation, attacked, wounded, bleeding, was united as never before in its brief history. From the most conservative, religious people to the most liberal elite (known in those strange days as "actors") came together to do everything they could to salve the wounds of the injured and succor the families of the dead.

As had happened once before on another fateful day (December 7), this nation--normally engaged in peaceful commerce and the pursuit of happiness, slow to action, slow to anger--rose up as an enraged giant, strode across the oceans, and sought to annihilate the death cultists who had so wounded her. Wherever the enemy sought to hide, the forces of freedom sought to hunt them down to the very last one.

But just one heartbeat later, the giant stumbled. It began to tear itself apart. Its people divided. They forgot why they had been so angry. Their immediate inconveniences began to impose upon their minds. A nation built on sacrifice and struggle against insurmountable odds no longer had the will to sacrifice or to struggle. Their enemy was crafty and hidden. He couldn't be pinned to any one nation, yet nations harbored him still. The only alternatives were to abandon the enemy entirely or to engage full on the nations who harbored him. While a relatively simple exercise in logic would seem to dictate to our learned and aged ears that nations harboring an enemy, regardless of how ephemeral, disorganized, or intangible that enemy may seem, were themselves enemies.

But the cultists of death, while they could never win a fight on open ground against the armed forces of freedom--those dedicated paladins who dealt death to the enemies of life--won victories elsewhere. Their insidious spell captivated the minds of many, especially in the old world (sometimes known collectively as "Europe"). Why risk lives on foreign soil? they asked. Why go to war with whole nations when only a handful of the enemy could be found on their soil? demanded the cynics. These were the people who, when asked to sacrifice and to struggle, peavishly yelled, "I shall not!" They were the ones who valued life not according to its proportion of freedom but according to the bill paid annually for the petrochemicals around which their lives revolved. Paradoxically, they justified their anti-freedom argument with such perverse slogans as, "No blood for oil." Try not to retch, dear readers, those times were not as enlightened as our own.

The internal struggle, then, could be defined thusly: on one side were people who, like their ancestors a mere two hundred years before, understood that it was not enough simply to declare your freedom, but rather, that it had to be defended and fought for at every turn, every corner, from the tallest buildings in the greatest cities to the smallest dwellings in the most distant and remote corners. The other side denied the threat represented by a cult which worshipped death and enslavement to a twisted and cruel ideology, and they refused to make any sacrifice--however small--so that the future could be secure and the freedom of their descendants assured.

Today, it doesn't require a scholar or savant to understand what was meant when freedom was first declared at the birth of that great nation. One does not declare freedom with eyes downcast. One does not declare independence with a mutter, with a whine, or with angry self-righteous braying. One declares the right to life and liberty proudly, head raised, eyes shining, confident and sure in the rightness of freedom, in the act of defiance represented by merely being alive. It is the declaration that I Shall Not Yield.

The concept was first and best said by one of that nation's founders and elder statesman. It was he who first penned the mighty words which today seem so obvious, yet which then were so revolutionary: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

Fortunately for us all, the forces of freedom won out. Right?


Unsurprisingly, the blogosphere abounds with other tributes to 9/11. Some of them are just a simple picture or a single sentence. Others are long, moving tributes. They all bear reading. It might take a while to get through them all, but is that such a huge sacrifice to make? The more that people remember what happened on that fateful September day, the more staunchly the forces of freedom will be defended.

Blogs commemorating 9/11: Protein Wisdom, The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler X2, Ace of Spades, Captain's Quarters, The Castle Argghhh, The Dissident Frogman, In Search of Utopia, Aaron's Rantblog, Tacjammer, Wizbang, DGCI, Rachel Lucas, Serenity's Journal, Classical Values, Samizdata, Michelle Malkin, Allah, a_sdf, Who Tends The Fires, Small Dead Animals, My Pet Jawa, mASS BACKWARDS, Mr. Minority, Bloodletting, LaShawn Barber's Corner, Shades of Gray, Roger L. Simon, Tacoma Blaze, A Small Victory, Murdoc Online, In The Bullpen

Graphic/annimated Tributes: Exhibit 13, Attacked 9/11, American Experience

Other roundups: In The Bullpen: Where were you?, Blogs of War with a great roundup including major media and other online tributes, In Search of Utopia with a thorough listing of blog & other tributes (scroll to the end of David's post).

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