The Dillard Doctrine

Urban Conservative Commentary on Politics & Life

Have We Forgotten?

Have you forgotten how it felt that day?
To see your homeland under fire
And her people blown away
Have you forgotten when those towers fell?
We had neighbors still inside going thru a living hell
And you say we shouldn’t worry ’bout bin Laden
Have you forgotten?

Somehow, this September 11th seems different from the ones between 2002-2008. I’ve already been up and out this morning, and flags are still flying high. People are going about their day rather nonchalantly.

Which makes me wonder: have we forgotten what happened eight years ago today, or has the political environment we live in today caused us to “move on” from 9/11?

I treat 9/11 as a day to remind myself of why I fought, and why thousands of others died. I’m one of those people who still watches the news coverage of that day, and will show it to my kids as well. Not as some sort of sadistic exercise, but for them to know that there are evil people in this world. For me, there’s no more appropriate method of rememberance than to relive it all over again.

My first years of civilian life were in DC, where nothing happens on 9/11. Yeah, everything was still open, but there was a mood in the city that covered everything. Even at work, all most people did was stand around and talk about what they did on “that day.” The question was simply, “what were you doing?”

If you’re fortunate enough to talk to a Pearl Harbor survivor-as I was able to in 2007-they remember that day vividly. Sights, sounds, smells, where they were…you get it all. And you can see and hear their pain as the story’s retold. I’ve told my own story of 9/11, and while it pales in comparison to theirs, for me the pain-and anger-is no different. And for countless others who wore the uniform, who responded to the attacks, or who lost someone, the pain and anger will probably never leave.


I have to wonder-and some will say this isn’t fair or appropriate-how much our political environment has changed our outlook on 9/11. We’ve gone from fighting a war on terror-which began that day-to participating in an “overseas contingency operation.”  Our political leaders today wrangle over whether to send more troops to Afghanistan, or to bring them all home. Today itself has gone from a day of rememberance to a day of service. And, of course, we continue to fight among ourselves at home.

Has the desire for “hope and change” veiled us to the reality that we all learned eight years ago? As time removes us from that day, do we forget the 3,000-plus reminders that our freedom, while the envy of some, is an enemy to more?

I pray not.

I’m reminded of one of the closing lines from the movie We Were Soldiers-“we who have seen war, will never stop seeing.”

We don’t have to live in fear…but I pray we never stop seeing.

Honor Bound to Defend Freedom,



Written by Coby Dillard

September 11, 2009 at 9:08 am

Posted in Editorials

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4 Responses

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  1. What is this “reality” of which you speak?


    September 11, 2009 at 12:04 pm

  2. Aaron,
    Mainly, that there are people in this world that seek to destroy the United States for the ideals we have, and what we stand for. 9/11 brought that lesson home.

    Coby Dillard

    September 11, 2009 at 12:07 pm

  3. This is a good post. But I do believe there are some that remember but are not impacted by the events. I think many are blinded by the hope talk and the current regime in charge.

    This nation is still in trouble! Financially, morally, and historically America has a lot pain. I like your political stance. I’m sorry that there many blind in this country that think African Americans are all obligated to the Democratic party. That we are all to be left leaning liberals.

    I want to encourage you my brother, keep on keeping on. Do what you do to the Glory of God first, and love of family, and love of country. And forget the haters my brother. I’m with you in spirit man.


    September 13, 2009 at 9:49 pm

  4. I think that the “they hate our freedoms” trope is simplistic at best, downright dangerous at worst.

    What I learned on 9/11 is that Edward Said is absolutely right (“Orientalism” 1978). Whether our mood is benevolent provider or righteous anger, our views of the East–near and far–and its attendant religions, philosophies, and political struggles are unfailingly Eurocentric. It fulfills the particular political purpose of ideological hegemony and we should not be surprised when we find that hegemony questioned at the margins, sometimes in violent ways.

    Welcome to “reality,” America. Engage and help dismantle the system from which we reap while others starve.


    September 24, 2009 at 3:05 pm

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