Thoughts on 9/11 Five Years Later
Yesterday I was enthralled with some of the documentaries and docu-dramas on TV re the terrorist attacks of 9-ll-01. Like most Americans, I was profoundly shocked at the time by these acts of hatred directed against innocent people going about their respective daily routines. While some may have forgotten that day five years ago, it is deeply etched in my mind forever because...
1. It changed me forever re presuming people would leave us alone if we simply mind our own business.
2. It called attention to perhaps 100 million Muslim extremists who have been schooled to kill Americans, even to the extent of sacrificing their own lives.
3. It marked a major change in U.S. policy to actively challenge terrorists worldwide for the foreseeable future.
4. It was my Mother's 90th birthday, which our family celebrated the Sunday before in Mom's Tallahassee backyard.
While 5 years have elapsed since that fateful day, our Congress has yet to take remedial action to protect America's borders and thereby minimize the likelihood more terrorists may be living among us. Indeed, the Congress has been favoring special interests who insist cheap labor provided by illegal immigrants is vital to their businesses albeit overburdening our schools, law enforcement, healthcare systems, and us as taxpayers!
Now, …with 12-13 million illegals among us, our U.S. Senate has a proposed new immigration bill, which is an expedient for controlling our borders, documenting the illegals already here, offering a de facto amnesty, suggesting a guest worker program to avoid the rigors of compliance with existing immigration law, and sidestepping the intense demands of deporting those who will not voluntarily go back to their country of origin.
President Eisenhower dealt with a similar problem, involving approx 1 million illegals, shortly after becoming President in 1953. He had to replace some immigration bureaucrats, but he got the job done through a combination of truck, bus, train, and ship shuttles during 1954. President Reagan approved an amnesty program in 1986. Today the problem is worse than ever, and it is time to stop being nice guys to whomever wants to come here. We have immigration quotas/policies for good reason, and we are overdue in demanding compliance. The House of Representatives has a tougher immigration bill which comes closer to what we need, and it deserves the Nation's PRIORITY ATTENTION!
Back to Mom, and her 95th birthday, day-before-yesterday in Tallahassee...
More than 40 members of our immediate family were there to join her in celebration. Being the oldest of her children, I gazed out among her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, spouses, and girl/boy friends…..most defying their parents' best efforts to assemble for family photographs...what a zoo of grandchildren from age 16 down to 2 (with four more on the way). We got the photos done just before the rains came and chased us all inside Mom's house.
Throughout it all, she maintained the dignified grace which is typical of her. It helped that she could not see or hear much of the action. She also is a bit unsteady on her feet, but she still feels and looks quite well (see accompanying photo) and computes VERY well (to this day she still will not let me drive her old Cadillac unless she is in it; she still regards me as 15 years old!). She can still recite Shakespeare and other classics, and has very strong political feelings. After over 70 years as a Democrat including 1955-61 as the First Lady of Florida (when my father was Governor), she changed her registration to Republican, so she could vote for me in the 2006 Primary election.
You ask, what is the significance of Mom's birthday party and 9/11 besides the date?
9/11 became the bellwether which finally inspired America to fight back against terrorist attacks, which have been leveled against American citizens and property since our American Embassy in Iran was invaded and CAPTURED in 1979. Without remedial responses in Afghanistan and Iraq, I have serious doubts we would be celebrating Mom's birthday in freedom this past weekend. While America is at war, and is spending much of its treasure and its valiant armed forces on a daily basis, the apparent business-as-usual at home it possible only because we have a Commander-in-Chief who will challenge the terrorists, plus young men and women who will VOLUNTEER for our armed forces, and go in harm's way for our safety and continuing freedoms. I pray we remember what they are doing for us under highly hazardous conditions.
Mom and me at a campaign event last month
/s/ LeRoy Collins, Jr.