Ground Zero or Ground Hero? The Choice is Up To Us
by GABRIEL GARNICA, ESQ.
September 11, 2010
It is hard to believe that it has been nine years since those planes plowed into America’s complacency. The images of lost loved ones forever etched in smiling photos full of promise cannot and should not be forgotten. What seems all too easy to forget, at least for some, is the bravery and unselfish dedication to service that took place on the hallowed ground where these towers stood. While I understand why many call this place Ground Zero, I prefer to call it Ground Hero, for it is every bit the embodiment of American courage, dedication to duty, and unselfish defiance to fiendish evil that any battle ground, national cemetery, or monument could ever be.
As the ashes, rubble, smoke and odd stench have been replaced with construction, hope, and the smell of resilience, we must step back and ask ourselves what we have learned from this tragic event. Surely, our lives have been forever changed. Everything from air travel to naïve comfort in the relative safety of our daily lives has been affected. More importantly, however, the lessons learned should have been unifying calls back to our roots as a nation, to the traits and attitudes that once shaped this country into the beacon on the hill, the envy of the world, and the model for what sacrifice and respect for freedom can accomplish. Instead, we have witnessed a systematic dismantling of that greatness at the hands of fools, cowards, hypocrites, and frauds as quick to distort on our traditions, history, and freedoms as they are to insolently preach, condescend, and ultimately mock the will of the American people.
We hear of the greatest generation, but we aspire to mediocrity. Our media thrives on freedom of speech, even as it often uses that freedom to betray the very nation that permits it. Our national infancy was nourished by Judeo-Christian ideals and respect for God, and yet this nation now systematically ignores, mocks, and even persecutes both. That is not to say, however, that our leaders and media disrespect all religion, for they amply bow to radicalism shrouded in facades of peace and demand deference to those whose agenda does not have America’s best interests at heart.
If those planes pierced the borders of our complacency, we have witnessed a far more chronic and perhaps just as tragic invasion of our national borders. The nation that once defended other nation’s borders from invaders now defends those who invade its own borders. Worse still, our so-called leaders even invite international organizations to smugly judge and dictate our states’ actions, as if this great nation ever needed babysitting from corrupt hypocrites content and eager to decree themselves the planet’s arbiters of right and wrong. Let these fools dictate, judge and do something about despots like Chavez,Ahmadinejad, or Kim Jong-il before they point fingers at our people. Some may argue, but those planes were only the beginning of more subtle but just as tragic and harmful invasions of our national identity and respect. The worse tragedy may well be that we are often betrayed from the very top of a government as misguided as it was ill-chosen.
It has been nine long winters since those planes changed our lives forever, and there have been plenty of storms since then. Unfortunately, the innocent blood shed that day has not stopped spilling. Lately, we have been far too busy apologizing to bullies for putting our noses in the way of their fists, for daring to oppose their radical views, and even for being who we are as a nation. We are not perfect, but there is no nation, no people, and certainly no tyrant anywhere who can accurately boast a better way, a nobler mission, or a stronger reason to be proud than this great nation under God, and no one, from foreign shores or within our borders, can ever speak for America who fails to see, admit, and even proudly proclaim this truth. This nation is not only greater than the sum of its parts, but it is also far greater than those fools who arrogantly pretend to know better, and our elections have proven, and will soon prove again, that we replace those who attempt to hijack America’s future with their own twisted agendas.
This date is hallowed ground; these sites are hallowed ground; the memory of those who died here is hallowed ground, and we must not allow hypocrites to dance on this ground with their proclamations of freedom of religion and tolerance when this crime was perpetrated by hatred and intolerance. Let us be models of these virtues elsewhere, but surely not on the remains of those lost here.
Many will continue to call this site Ground Zero, and we should respect that. However, it is up to us to always remember that it is also Ground Hero, where Americans died exhibiting the kind of heroism, resolve, and unselfish call to duty that made and continues to make America the greatest nation on earth. Let us resolve to never forget that sacrifice, and to do whatever we can to rise from the present national rubble to the greatness only this nation is capable of reaching.