I can remember it like it was yesterday. I was working as a salesman in Florida at the time, driving north to make an emergency delivery of stainless steel fittings to CF Industries in Plant City. It was an ordinary day as far as I knew at the time. But when I arrived everyone was huddled around the plant television set.
Curiosity got the better of me so I joined the crowd to see what was going on. To say I couldn’t believe what was happening is an understatement. How could anybody do such a thing? And then I was overcome with emotion. It wasn’t so much anger as it was a deep sense that there was no reason for this, and that somehow and somewhere we’d get even. I specifically remember saying, we’ll get you for this.
As everything began to unfold, it was clear that the World Trade Center wasn’t their only target. They’d hit the Pentagon and a plane was down in Pennsylvania, too. I called Holly — she was pregnant with our first child at the time — and told her that if things got really bad she should go to the fish camp at Kissimmee. I’d get there when I could.
At the time, no one knew how bad it would get or what might happen later in the day. We all needed a plan in case there were going to be attacks all over our country. It was a mess, the kind of thing we Americans should never forget. These people want to kills us and destroy our way of life.
This column is about remembering all the victims of this horrible attack and to say thanks to all the men and women who are working to see that it never happens again. That’s not just the military. It includes all sorts of people working all over the world. Some of them we don’t even know about.
We also need to remember the families of those serving and working in foreign countries. They carry a heavy burden. They’re all alone with all the responsibilities that go with that. It’s one thing to have a wife or husband traveling in this country. It’s another to have them in a foreign country, facing danger, and unable to come home no matter how badly they’re needed or how badly they need you. There’s no comparison.
None of us should ever forget how good we have it as Americans. Our country may be facing problems but we’ll get through them. Freedom is a wonderful thing that’ll solve a lot of the stuff we’re faced with. The enemy is trying to take that freedom, and our ultimate success, away from us. We can’t let that happen.
With that thought in mind, I think we should all display an American flag when and where we can. That’s why I fly one on the light pole of my boat every time I launch. It reminds me of how good we have it in this country. God bless America!