Comm Company, Hq. Bn., 1st Marine Division

Do Not Forget

An open letter to remember the events of 9-11 written by Ed Evans, MGySgt., USMC (Ret.)


I sat in a movie theater watching "Schindler's List," asked myself, "Why didn't the Jews fight back?"

Now I know why.

I sat in a movie theater, watching "Pearl Harbor" and asked myself, "Why weren't we prepared?"

Now I know why.

Civilized people cannot fathom, much less predict, the actions of evil  people.

On September 11, dozens of capable airplane passengers allowed themselves  to be overpowered by a handful of poorly armed terrorists because they did  not comprehend the depth of hatred that motivated their captors.

On September 11, thousands of innocent people were murdered because too many Americans naively reject the reality that some nations are dedicated to  the dominance of others. Many political pundits, pacifists and media  personnel want us to forget the carnage. They say we must focus on the  bravery of the rescuers and ignore the cowardice of the killers. They  implore us to understand the motivation of the perpetrators. Major  television stations  have announced they will assist the healing process by not replaying  devastating footage of the planes crashing into the Twin Towers.

I will not be manipulated.

I will not pretend to understand.

I will not forget.

I will not forget the liberal media who abused freedom of the press to kick  our country when it was vulnerable and hurting.

I will not forget that CBS anchor Dan Rather preceded President Bush's  address to the nation with the snide remark, "No matter how you feel about  him, he is still our president."

I will not forget that ABC TV anchor Peter Jennings questioned President  Bush's motives for not returning immediately to Washington, DC and commented, "We're all pretty skeptical and cynical about Washington."

And I will not forget that ABC's Mark Halperin warned if reporters weren't  informed of every little detail of this war, they aren't "likely -- nor  should they be expected -- to show deference."

I will not isolate myself from my fellow Americans by pretending an attack  on the USS Cole in Yemen was not an attack on the United States of America.

I will not forget the Clinton administration equipped Islamic terrorists and  their supporters with the world's most sophisticated telecommunications equipment and encryption technology, thereby compromising America's  ability to trace terrorist radio, cell phone, land lines, faxes and modem communications.

I will not be appeased with pointless, quick retaliatory strikes like those  perfected by the previous administration.

I will not be comforted by "feel-good, do nothing" regulations like the silly  "Have your bags been under your control?" question at the airport.

I will not be influenced by so called,"antiwar demonstrators" who exploit the  right of _expression to chant anti-American obscenities.

I will not forget the moral victory handed the North Vietnamese by American  war protesters who reviled and spat upon the returning soldiers, airmen,  sailors and Marines.

I will not be softened by the wishful thinking of pacifists who chose  reassurance over reality.

I will embrace the wise words of Prime Minister Tony Blair who told Labor  Party conference, "They have no moral inhibition on the slaughter of the  innocent. If they could have murdered not 7,000 but 70,000, does anyone  doubt they would have done so and rejoiced in it?

There is no compromise possible with such people, no meeting of minds, no  point of understanding with such terror. Just a choice: defeat it or be defeated by it.   And defeat it we must!"

I will force myself to:

-hear the weeping
-feel the helplessness
-imagine the terror
-sense the panic
-smell the burning flesh
experience the loss
remember the hatred.

I sat in a movie theater, watching "Private Ryan" and asked myself, "Where did they find the courage?"

Now I know.

We have no choice. Living without liberty is not living.

-- Ed Evans, MGySgt., USMC (Ret.)
Not as lean, Not as mean, But still a Marine.