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What Happened to America?

Do you realize it has been almost seven years since Islamic terrorists flew hijacked planes into the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon? It’s one of those defining moments in time when you’ll always remember where you were and what you were doing when you first heard the news. There have only been a handful of such events in my lifetime (I’m 39)… President Reagan being shot, the space shuttle disasters, both Challenger and Columbia and September 11, 2001, forever designated as 9-11.

Do you remember how our nation responded in the days and weeks following 9-11. Although tragic, it was a time that made us all proud to be Americans.

Three weeks following 9-11 I was on vacation with my family in Myrtle Beach, SC. We were having dinner at Hard Rock Cafe, a rock & roll themed restaurant that plays music videos on multiple large screens. The restaurant was filled with the sounds of silverware striking plates, waitresses taking orders, children laughing, patrons chatting and of course, lots of loud music.

[ad#cws-blog-right-300×250]As one song ended and the next one began to play, it was obvious that it wasn’t the typical Bruce Springsteen, Aerosmith or Van Halen type music you normally hear at a Hard Rock Cafe. The opening lyrics drifted throughout the restaurant… “If tomorrow all the things were gone, I’d worked for all my life…” Instantly, the entire restaurant fell silent, all but the voice of Lee Greenwood singing God Bless the USA. People stopped in the middle of their conversations, children sat quietly and waitresses stood still as everyone’s attention was entirely focused on the music video playing on screens throughout the restaurant. People were hanging on every word, as if for the first time they understood what was meant by “And I’ll gladly stand up, next to you and defend her still today.”

As the song ended… “‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land, God bless the USA”, customers and employees erupted in a cheer normally reserved for college football stadiums. The cheer eventually turned into a chant… USA! USA! USA!

At that moment there were no Democrats or Republicans, liberals or conservatives… only proud Americans… angry Americans… Americans ready to go after the enemy… Americans ready to support their President.

patriotism – love for or devotion to one’s country.

The previous week, on September 20, 2001, President Bush addressed Congress. At the same time In Philadelphia, the New York Rangers and the Philadelphia Flyers were tied at 2-2 and were preparing to start the third period. During the intermission the beginning of President Bush’s speech was playing on the big screens above the scoreboard. As the teams took to the ice the screens went blank and the game was set to resume. That’s went something unusual happened. 19,117 hockey fans began to boo. Then they began to chant… “Leave it on!”

Fans that had paid over $50 per ticket to see their Flyers play hockey were demanding to hear the President’s speech instead. They got their wish. The speech was returned to the video screens and both teams returned to their benches.

In that speech, President Bush left no doubt about the path that America was about to travel.

“Our war on terror begins with al Qaeda, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated.” (Loud applause by both parties.)

“This war will not be like the war against Iraq a decade ago, with a decisive liberation of territory and a swift conclusion. It will not look like the air war above Kosovo two years ago, where no ground troops were used and not a single American was lost in combat.”

“Our response involves far more than instant retaliation and isolated strikes. Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign, unlike any other we have ever seen. It may include dramatic strikes, visible on TV, and covert operations, secret even in success. We will starve terrorists of funding, turn them one against another, drive them from place to place, until there is no refuge or no rest. And we will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism. Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists. (loud applause from both parties.) From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime.”

Every time the President delivered a strong statement about going after the enemy, the fans erupted into cheers so loud that it drowned out the applause coming from the house chamber. But as soon as the President began to speak again, the crowd instantly became silent.

As the President concluded his speech 36 minutes later, the fans were chanting U-S-A and waiving American flags, a scene reminiscent of the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympics when a young USA team shocked the world by beating a much more experienced USSR team to claim the gold. But on this night they were not cheering for a hockey team. They were cheering on their President and sending a message to the world that the United States of America will not tolerate an attack on our homeland.

The game was never finished. Players said it just didn’t seem right to play hockey that night.

Fast forward seven years to 2008 and we now have a country that is resentful of a President that has done exactly what he said he was going to do, a country that thinks we shouldn’t be at war with Muslim extremists, and a country on the verge of electing a president named Barrack Hussein Obama and thinks that we should end this war.

In 2001, Barrack Obama was unknown to most Americans outside of Chicago. What would you have thought, if on September 12, 2001, you somehow were able to peer into the future and see a newspaper from January 2009 with the following headline: “Barrack Hussein Obama Sworn In As 44th President of the United States”? I know what I would have thought. The terrorists have won.

So what happened between 2001 and 2008 that caused such a u-turn in the American psyche? Are we no longer the nation that fought for freedom from British oppression and defended Europe from Nazi and communist schemes to conquer the world? What happened to that America?

I would love you hear your opinion. Leave a comment below.

15 Comments

  1. First of all I agree with everything that you wrote. Americans are like this. When you are up you are cheered. When you are down noone likes you. When you are a winner you are popular, but when it appears that you are losing then noone knows you. Paul the Apostle went through the same stuff. May God have mercy on Americans and her country, but I do not believe He will.

  2. I truly believe that the world is being set up for the rise of the anti-christ. I believe Jesus is coming for his bride very, very, very shortly. I in particular am looking at Rosh Hashanah Sept. 30/Oct. 1 it is the unknown day in the Jewish calendar. Sad to see America being torn apart but I guess the demise of America is eminant for us to succumb to a world leader. Thank God that we don't have to be here for it!!!

  3. September 11th was indeed a tragic and memorable day, and it understandably united Americans in defense of their country. Retaliation was inevitable, and many Americans stood behind military action as a defensive strategy. The president in office reflected the attitudes of many (but not all) Americans at the time, by encouraging action against the terrorists.

    Seven years is a long time, and I don't think anyone can claim that Bush has taken every right move that entire time. He and his cabinet and advisers have made many errors, have kept essential knowledge from the American public, and have threatened our essential freedoms in the name of defense. This administration has consistently evoked fear in American citizens, and made those who disagree out to be unpatriotic. People are fed up with feeling like their government has its own agenda, one of complete disregard for what is actually best for its people. They are ready for a change.

    And Barack Obama is change. Maybe he's not perfect. And maybe you're not going to vote for him because he doesn't represent your values, or simply because of his name. Just because someone's parents give him the middle name Hussein does not make him a Muslim. You've probably joined in ridiculing him for his association with Jeremiah Wright, his BAPTIST minister. The man is a Christian, as hard as that may be for you to believe.

    That said, being a Muslim does not make one a terrorist, just as being a Christian does not make one an abortion clinic bomber. There are extremists of all faiths, and it is unfair to make judgments about a persons character based on their name, not to mention plain ridiculous. If you don't agree with someone's political values, don't vote for them. It's as simple as that. But it is unnecessary and, quite plainly, immature to attack someone's character.

  4. Hi Jessie, thanks for the feedback. As I'm sure you guessed, I'm going to strongly disagree.

    Yes, President Bush has made many mistakes in handling the war. But there has never been a war where mistakes were not made. It's always easy to look back and see what should have been done.

    Obama has zero experience with international affairs and has shown that with his comments. At one point he said we should have invaded Pakistan instead of Iraq. Pakistan is one of our allies in the region. They also have a nuclear weapons which are controlled by a very unstable government. If we upset the balance of power in Pakistan we risk having those weapons fall into the hands of terrorists.

    Obama recently said he would never use nuclear weapons under any circumstance. He just told the whole world that if he is President we will not retaliate with nukes no matter what. That puts the US in a very vulnerable position. Nuclear weapons are effective because of the fear they MAY be used. With Russia becoming more of a threat, China building the largest military in the world and the uncertainty of North Korea's nuclear program he just put us in a very vulnerable situation. China's military outnumbers ours 5 to 1. Possibly the only thing keeping them from invading us is the threat of nuclear weapons.

    Jeremiah Wright is not a Christian. He says that Christ is not the only way to God and he believes Muslims and other religions can get you to Heaven. Simply claiming to be a Christian doesn't make you one.

  5. I agree that mistakes are made in all wars. Wars are waged by humans, and humans are imperfect creatures. I also agree that claiming to be a Christian does not make you one, similar to how other people claiming you're a Muslim does not make you one. I would also agree that Obama's experience with foreign relations is not as well-rounded as is ideal, and I'm sure he would make mistakes if elected. He is only human, after all.

    I suppose my point was that it's not too far-fetched that people have problems with Bush, and it has very little to do with him taking an unpopular position. And I get so tired of the constant attacks on Barack for something so insignificant as his name. The so-called "liberal" media has spent more time berating Obama (and Hilary, when she was running) for some of the most insignificant things like a middle name, the cut of a garment, or the cracking of a voice, and this distracts us from the most important part of a candidate – their positions on political issues. The media is starting to resemble a school yard of children, making fun of someone for having a funny name or for being a crybaby. And posts such as these simply prove that their tactics are working and are distracting people from important issues.

    I am glad however, that you seem to have done some research into Obama's background. I would just encourage you to be open to hearing the other side as well. You might be surprised to find that 1) Obama may have some positive qualities as well, and 2) McCain has some flaws of his own. I'm not asking you to change your position, just make sure you have as many of the facts as possible.

  6. Jessie,

    Thank you for what you wrote – both times. I agree with you whole-heartedly.

  7. Jessie is right. I have to say, this is the kind of mentality that's killing America. You people are focusing on a person's NAME rather than what they stand for. You reach out for what feels good rather than what makes the most logical sense. You people are killing yourselves, and will continue to do so until you start opening your eyes.

    Fareed

  8. I read your whole article and I agree with all the things you say. I think that the USA as a whole has short term memory loss! After 9-11 everywhere you went there were American flags and support our troops bumper stickers. But now look at us, Bush is one of the most hated presidents ever, we are close to possibly electing a "former" muslim, and the USA spirit is dying! I can still remember, quite clearly the day that 9-11 happend! As Christians we need to be praying for our country, our troops, and our leader. By the way…

    GOD BLESS THE USA!!!

  9. A problem with this war is the first Gulf War. We won it quickly and decisively, it spoiled too many Americans into thinking that we could, should and would win all of our wars like that. The first Gulf War was more like World War II. This war is more like Vietnam, fortunetly for us only half of the enemy was dressed in civilian clothes, lived in the area where they fought and were only trying to conquer the country and us. The enemy in this war are all dressed as civilians, come from all over the world and are trying to conquer that world. Thankfully, it is all part of all that which will happen before Jesus Christ returns.

  10. First, let us thank Our Heavenly Father for giving us such freedoms that were unknown in other parts of the world, to voice our opinion and serve God, in this great country, America. Second, let's use our common sense on the issue of this coming election. Obama and McCain are just men. Anyone looking to them to fix the problems of America is viewing life through a smoke-screen. Our ancestors had it right when they said, "God bless America!" People have made the choice to let free enterprise run out of control, rights being violated, morals going down hill, crimes going up because people are poor, hungry, and desperate to live up to the standards set by t.v. and "celebrities". The citizens of America have to own up to the choices we have made! Our right to vote is a strong force that we have and many have voted for what will make their lives better and not what will make the nation as a whole better. We still have issues with things that will divide a nation: racism, fear, disbelief, greed, lies, prostitution, the list can go on and on. We want this nation to be blessed, but we are not turning to the One who blesses. God is on our money, constitution, law buildings, etc. to remind us who really established this country, but He is not reigning in our individual lives as He should be. We are trying to be "politically correct" and win the approval of our fellow man instead of standing up for God and what He approves! There shouldn't even be a waste of time on such things as gay marriage or abortion when this country boasts over 70% of people as Christians. Where are they? If we are to elect a leader it should be based on his loyalty to God and His will for His people. Wake up and smell the coffee because hate and fear are our worst enemies!

  11. To answer this question of 'what happened to America', please allow me to tell you a story that began in the 1980s and continues until today. For a child or a teenager growing up anywhere in the world in the 1980s as I was, their idea of America mostly came from Archie comics, Home Alone movies and a President named Reagan.
    My hometown English newspaper in my native country had a tradition of printing great speeches. I was a teenager when I read a text of the famous ‘Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall’ speech, the link to which I attach. ( http://www.reaganlibrary.com/reagan/speeches/wall…. I have never watched Pres. Reagan deliver this speech until I found a link on you tube, which has a part of the speech. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WjWDrTXMgF8). I have read accounts of advisors saying later that the whole, ‘Mr. Gorbachev tear down this wall’ line was left in the speech at Pres. Reagan’s insistence even though his advisors strongly advised against it. And we all know what happened to Communism and that great wall. History will also acknowledge that Pope John Paul II played an important part in the wall coming down.
    In the 1980s and through the 1990s, the public face of Christianity and Evangelism in America was the Rev. Dr. Billy Graham. The golden ticket to higher education was an American University. I have relatives who were accepted by American universities, but whose visas were rejected by American Consulates because their family lacked adequate finances which I trust were needed even if the student was accepted by the universities. Undaunted, families sold land or pawned it so that they could show adequate bank balances so that their children could fulfill their dream of going to study in America. For most of them, English was a second language. Their countries called this brain drain. But these were the people who contributed to Silicon Valley and the whole Information Technology revolution. This necessitated the need for more IT professionals and thus came the next wave of immigrants through the H1B visa. I was one of them. Most of us chose to become permanent residents or Green Card holders and some citizens. To become permanent residents even pre 9-11, people had to submit all 10 finger prints, undergo and FBI background check and take an AIDS test as part of a physical. But become part of America I did, countless like my husband and I, Christians, Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists and lived our everyday lives. Go to work, buy groceries, run errands, cook, watch TV, go to church or other places of worship and so on. Paid our taxes, bought houses, complained about taxes. Just like countless Americans around this great country. And we assimilated into American culture and life. I still had the same ethnic sounding name, sometimes wore a cross around my neck depending on my outfit. No one made me feel unwelcome or unwanted or questioned my role or my patriotism or my values based on my name or how I looked. I took my place in America for granted. I half heartedly watched the impeachment hearings of Pres. Clinton and what struck me most as ironic during that time was Pres. Clinton being impeached for mostly having an affair and lying about it under oath, led by a speaker Mr. Newt Gingrich who was having an affair and counseled by Rev. Jesse Jackson who had a child out of wedlock. I was also aware during that time of church denominations in America like Lutherans, Baptists, Southern Baptists, Methodists, Seven Day Adventists, Assemblies of God, Episcopalian and Catholics. Just like in my native country. I became acquainted with Joyce Meyer , Benny Hinn , Pat Robertson and the 700 club and of course the Rev.Billy Graham who had started to wind down his work by them. Some of them I liked, others reminded me of something slimy.
    Then 2000 rolled around and suddenly I was introduced to the concept of ‘evangelical christians’ by CNN of all places. I thought all Christians were supposed to witness and evangelize, but that’s besides the point. Pres. Bush won and I was quite happy because I prayed that God would choose the right person when the whole supreme court case was going on and I was confident in God’s choice. Then came 9-11.
    This montage of pictures in you tube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZiHN3z2o08 from different parts of the world illustrates more than any words I could say what the world felt during that time. Then came the wars in Afghanistan and then Iraq.
    I can say a lot of things about why the war in Afghanistan which was against the 9-11 terrorists was different from the one in Iraq which was against a dictator even a bad one and how the rest of the world and most of this country sees the one in Iraq as unnecessary and must end. But many others have eloquently said it so much better than me.
    The election on Nov 4th was a watershed. This election is a rejection of people like Donald Rumsfeld, Karl Rove and mostly Vice President Dick Cheney who hijacked the presidency of a successful Texas Governor named George W Bush and made him one of the most unpopular presidents ever. It is a rejection of horrible, horrible people like Karl Rove who smeared someone like Sen. McCain with a false story of a child out of wedlock during the SC Primary in 2000 knowing very well it was untrue and the reaction it will get. A man who in the heat of the election was able to explain to one of his supporters who confessed she was afraid of an Obama presidency because he was ‘Arab/Muslim’ eloquently about what the presidential race was about, differences in policy and ideas. And not a referendum on uninformed opinions formed on the basis of fear and prejudice. This election is a rejection of people who call themselves Christians like those of the parents of the little girl in Ohio who taught her all she knew in her life so far that she could say she needed gloves to touch Sen. Obama. This election is a rejection of Christian leaders like James Dobson and his Focus on the Family hypocrisy which for a long time advocated that women stay at home with their children and conveniently changed its tune when it found a working mother like Gov. Palin to hang its political hat on. This election is a rejection of people like the Rev. Jesse Jackson and the hypocrisy of his words and actions in private and public. This election is a rejection of Christian leaders who defined Christianity in a one letter word ‘abortion’ and tried for personal reasons to influence the vote of many people by preaching from pulpits and going on radio and saying their congregants would go to hell otherwise. This election is a rejection of defining people by how they look or what their name is and questioning the patriotism of people whose views do not match your own. This change did not start because of Pres.Elect. Obama or what he did. He just rode the way. It started in the little towns and cities of America as evidenced by this essay entitled ‘I am Macaca’ in the Washington Post from 2006. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wpdyn/content/article/2006/11/10/AR2006111001381.html)
    My idea of America comes from this enduring image by my favorite American President.

    I've spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don't know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind it was a tall proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, wind-swept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace, a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity, and if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That's how I saw it and see it still.

    It made me cry the first time I read it in print. It makes me still tear up because this is what America means to the whole world.

    The video of Pres. Reagan delivering this speech is here, the above mentioned lines start at the 8th minute. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gIouq2u9kUo&fe

    This image spoken so movingly was what was lost 7 years ago and in the election of a man called Barack Hussein Obama was found on Nov 4th in my humble opinion.

  12. Both sides(for sake of argument)have very strong points..Many proclaim religion or ones belief and understandimg of a God.How could any God allow such pain,
    All religions,faiths.god fearing,muslims,christians,jews,non denomomational,whatever,whatever "Judge" ALL BELIEFS..What is our heart and soul need to believe/want to beleve.Obama?? If you believe in prayer..Pray he succeeds for ALL OUR SAKES! Wars seem to be all about religion.
    The Horrible thing is now it's americans using americans against themsleves.
    Now we are destroying ourselves..Look at our financial institutions we have assumed their risks and paid their price.Retaliation caused this..Revenge..Justification?

  13. I just wanted to add that I know it's difficult to understand the current situation.

    Unless you understand that it's the same situation it's always been.

    We keep doing the same things expecting a different result.

    So let 911 wake you up as it was ment to do.
    It was ment to wake you up to the fact that america has become a satanic roman pagan cult bent on world domination and control of it's resources without reguard for even it's own citizens.

    Thats why we got slapped with a 911 , Thats what it was all about.

    Wheather or not 911 was done by islamic terrorists or not is not even relivant

    It would have been done by somebody else eventualy
    because america goes around thinking other cultures will simply swallow
    it's roman paganism and self indulgent wallstreet criminals and new world order policies.

    When america stops treating people like a number , then the world will listen.

  14. I am not one to cry. In fact I never cry. I am one of those old world guys who always keep their cool when everyone else looses it. When I read this article I couldn't help but cry. I cried for everything that was wrong with America and I cried for everything that is at stake. I want you to know that you should stop writing articles like this that have the potential of embarrassing me in front of my family. I want you and all others to know that I will not stop praying for our great country and that we are headed for a turmoil and the holiest of wars on earth. I know because of the way I was brought up that America will prevail. God bless the USA.

  15. We have a gracious God so we must know that their are possibility that He will forgive the Americans when they did repent for that. He knows what to do, let just go near to God and ask His help for them and for us also.

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