Rick William Elkin was born in Pasadena, California,
I remember the morning of September 11, 2001 like it happened yesterday.
As my wife and I were awakened by our radio alarm and lay there half asleep, Sonny West, the morning talk/music show host said he had just heard in his earphones that an airplane had possibly plowed into one of the twin towers in Manhattan.
He speculated that it seemed kind of crazy because the weather was reportedly clear and cool, with no clouds or fog.
I decided to get out of bed and at that moment he said if you are anywhere near a TV turn it on right now!
As it became clear this was a deliberate act, and moments before the second plane hit, I screamed at my kids, "Get up! You have to witness this!"
Then the second plane hit and we all started screaming "Oh my God!" I told the kids, you are witnessing a moment in history unlike any that has happened in my lifetime.
Moment by moment I couldn't help but let my fury escape; "Don't these maniacs know who they are messing with?"
This wasn't just an act of civil disobedience, this was war!
Since that awful day, I have also been devastated by the continuing politicization of the death, destruction, heroics and sacrifices of our citizens of all persuasions, left or right. The selfish finger pointing, the marginalization of patriotism and the popularization of the idea that America deserved this.
All of which has, in my mind, heavily contributed to the total chaos within our country both economically and socially that exists today. Looking at a year over year line chart analysis of our American quality of life ratings since September 2001, it has been a downward slope ultimately flattening out in near total collapse in 2007. The terrorists had even more impact than they had imagined.
We have lost an enormous amount of public trust and personal freedoms. We have lost the sense of common ground and political decency that were trademarks of western civilization too.
Aren't those the exact western core values the terrorist hate?
A few days after 911, standing on the steps of the Capital, members of both Parties sang God Bless America, it was only hours later when the Democrats began blaming the President for causing the incident, then bitchslapping citizens who flew American flags on their antennas calling them right wing zealots whose super Patriotism inflamed Islamic anger.
Eventually, some even suggested President Bush ordered the attack so he could justify starting a war so Big Military could get more tax dollars.
To be honest, it has become hard to not hate my fellow Americans who won't stand up for our own country, our leaders and our military, who say they are Patriots but on the other hand chastise Republicans for 'wrapping themselves in the American flag' like that is some kind of insult to them.
Especially when I see this kind of 'Blame America First' activity from people who were my elementary school classmates that joined me in saying the Pledge of Allegiance every morning before class. What happened to those kids? How did they get so twisted?
Taking sides for some is in and of itself wrong because it is too judgmental, so they flash a peace symbol and light a joint.
As a result of that voter angst the War on Terror descended into a political public relations stunt, and it became increasingly clear our people have no stomach for fighting to preserve their own freedom, I have let go of my anger. It isn't my future anymore, it belongs to my kids.
I take the blame for not instilling the kind of strength of character my father's generation had. Thank God for that generation, because without them we would all be speaking German right now.