Todd Beamer, a 32-year-old Wheaton College graduate, uttered the words, "Are you guys ready? Let's roll," just before he and other passengers fought for control of United Flight 93, preventing it from becoming another weapon of destruction. His father, David L. Beamer of Wheaton, wrote this essay.
Is it possible that the 10th anniversary of 9/11 is seemingly so soon upon us? This milestone is an opportunity to remember, reflect, tally our blessings, give thanks and reaffirm our resolve to preserve our way of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.
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In this decade some important things have changed and some have not.
Because of the ongoing sacrifice of so many brave Americans we remain free. Teachers and coaches devote their skills, time and energy to see kids learn and develop. Wheaton is still a great place to raise a family. Others wear uniforms signifying their willingness to serve, protect and rescue. They remain vigilant and willing to answer the call of duty, whatever the situation.
Sadly, there are some terrible and threatening things which have not changed. Radical Islam, the enemy of the U.S. -- our liberty, our culture, our rule of law -- continues to threaten all we hold dear. Ten years ago our son, Todd, and 39 other free people on Flight 93 fought back and launched a victorious counterattack. All on board were killed in action fighting against this enemy.
As I write this, we all mourn the death of 30 more Americans killed in action fighting this enemy. Thirty families have received that terrible news.
On 9/11 America was asleep, even though radical Islam had been attacking us for decades, i.e. Beirut (1983), our embassies (1998), World Trade Center (1993) and the USS Cole (2000). Now, America's slumber has been replaced with denial, a posture no less dangerous.
As the enemy employs old tactics of terror and new ones of deceit, deception and infiltration to attack us from within, we employ strategies embracing political correctness, appeasement, compromise, apology, praise and passive leadership. Our new strategy is dangerous and deadly.
Our enemy is real and remains committed to see all submit to its system of worship, politics, rule of law and a culture of life without the liberties we have always known and often take for granted. Thank God for all that you have living in America.
Be prepared to fight for it; you may have to do so.