Three and ten years ago our nation was stricken a terrible blow; one that altered the course of the world. Not since the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor has a singular event so shaped and forever changed the world. Today some among us ask what power has she left? For thirteen years the United States has exhausted every resource at its disposal to oppose those who reveled in the travesty of September eleventh. I will not claim justness in the actions that occurred since that fateful day; but I will claim justice in spirit upon which it was delivered. With a swiftness the United States crashed into the Middle East setting a blaze one of the largest and most transformative events in the region since before the fall of the Ottoman Empire. Today these events are still transpiring and from their ashes has risen a new power; one that is decidedly set against not just our way of life, but the very fabric of our humanity.
The world, and some at home question the willingness or capability of the United States to answer the call to arms. Some have gone as far as to say that she is now quietly ignored like a child at the adults table. It would be slapdash to forget that for over a hundred years the United States has answered these calls in support of any friend and to oppose any foe. Though the trumpets of the doubtful, and the commentary of the nay-sayers rings loud across the airwaves and on our television sets, it is the quiet call that we miss from around the globe asking for our support. From those in the pacific-rim struggling though natural disasters to the trapped souls on the sides of mountains in Iraq; their voices share stories that make you proud to see the Stars and Stripes fly above every school and courthouse across the land. We as a service and a nation have answered MacAurthur’s daring call to bring hope to places where hope is forlorn.
With some haste we pulled away from the fire that is spreading across the Arabian Peninsula and with measured patience we are wadding back into the same storm. To those who look across the seas at us, be reminded that the reach of the United States has no limits. And for those at home, never forget that soft power is nothing more than the amplification of real power; of which we still have plenty. Let no one doubt the resolve of the American People for the men that I have met and have had the honor of calling friends, brothers, comrades-at-arms have paid a ransom to the boat man and yet still stand tall and sure when they speak clearly just five words. “Here I am, send me.”
On this modern-minted-hollowed day just thirteen years ago the New York skyline—a testament to the world’s future—was scarred horrifically by men misguided by the desire to uphold an identity that is as false as the world has ever seen before. These men and their faiths under appreciated the resolve of a nation and a people. They were and are unable to grasp what it means to be free, to be American, to be part of the world’s humanity. And though I will not dare try and tell you what it means to be an American. What I will share is what it is not; it is not a nation that will sit by and watch others suffer, nor is it a nation that will forget that fateful morning and what it means to have glimpsed the fear that others live in continually.
The United States, to her credit, has yet to rip the poem from the base of the Statue of Liberty, her towering presence still screams out hope and steadfastness to the weak, wretched and huddled masses yearning to breathe free. And from these people, the Americans, no challenge has been un-met, no obstacle not overcome, no goal not reached; so to shall it be today. That when she decides she has seen enough of this travesty they call The Islamic State, the United States as she has time and time before, will reach her colossal hands across the world and smite those who would see her ideals burned to ashes. With a vengeance our young men and women will storm across the world armed with the most powerful weapon in the United States arsenal; righteousness.