“I hope that’s not true,” I told her and her listening audience. I would say it another way. I would say we’ve come face-to-face with a reality. A reality we knew existed and we knew was possible. A reality that has happened to varying degrees in other countries. But if in fact, in order to respond to that reality, we have to alter our civil liberties, change the way we function, then we have truly lost the war…. The way to conduct the war is to demonstrate that your civil liberties, your civil rights, your ability to be free and walk and move around in fact are not fundamentally altered…. There are a lot of things we can do though to diminish significantly the possibility of this happening again without changing our character as a nation…. This nation is too big, too strong, too united, too much a power in terms of our cohesion and our values to let this break us apart. And it won’t happen. It won’t happen.
Many had already left, including the vice-president. President Bush was being flown from safe place to safe place and would not speak to the country until that evening.
The Twin Towers had collapsed by the time we got on the road toward Wilmington, and the death estimates in New York were five, six, seven thousand—maybe more. But when I got home and put on the television, I saw that the American heart was still beating strong. Doctors and nurses were standing by at hospitals in New York City, ready to treat the wounded. Snaking through the streets and up the avenues were long lines of New Yorkers waiting to give their blood, even though word was being passed that no more blood was needed. I could see it in their faces: They were hungry to do something, anything. Nobody was talking about war footings or payback. They just wanted to do their part. That was the day that reminded me that even in a moment of almost total silence from their leaders in Washington, Americans would rise to the occasion. Watching those people on the blood lines, I was convinced the country would get up off the mat, face the new challenge head-on, and emerge stronger for having done it. To me this is the first principle of life, the foundational principle, and a lesson you can’t learn at the feet of any wise man: Get up! The art of living is simply getting up after you’ve been knocked down...
As we look toward another anniversary of 9-11 coming next month, so many different thoughts bombarded me:
- The realization that it was Senator Biden, not then republican President Bush who spoke to the nation. Surely there was some way for Bush to get a message out sooner?
- The confirmation of my opinion of Joe Biden, who, instead of moving quickly from danger, took the time to address the nation--He cares so much about Americans!
- The comparison of the 9-11 terrorist attack to the 1-6 insurrection attack on our Capitol by domestic terrorists.
- The recognition that not only did the president not address the nation immediately, but we have learned that he not only initiated it, but wanted to actually go there and participate (lead) his followers in overthrowing the election!
- The knowledge that, during the 2016 election, Joe Biden did not immediately move to run for president. However, as he watched what was happening--how hate was being incited, along with fear and so much lying that people didn't know who or what to believe.
- It must have been a difficult decision for Biden to consider running again. His long career had been full of many accomplishments and he would be seen as possibly too old to run for the presidency. Yet, with Covid and Trump's failure to even begin to plan for dissemination, and, at the same time, giving so many mixed signals about just how bad it was--in fact, admitting to a writer that he just didn't want to tell the people the truth, Joe Biden decided to step in and do what needed to be done.
- And, even with so many different issues occurring after the devastation and death of Covid, he was not only able to get the distribution process started quickly, but also had a total plan of action of what needed to be done in every area.