I think that in order to understand where you are going, you must remember where you’ve been. For me, that is a remembrance of the America I knew growing up; and where I’ve been.
When my mother died way too young, my grandparents stepped in, because that’s what family does. My grandparents had little in the way of financial resources, or put another way: “We was PO.”
I joke with audiences when I speak that, we were so poor, the electric company came to our house once and blew out the candles.
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But as poor as we were, we were oh so rich! We ate together, played together, and prayed together.
I recall one birthday, eating a hamburger the size of a dinner plate at the Nighthawk Restaurant in San Antonio, TX. That was the first time I ate in a restaurant…a rarity for my family. My grandfather took me there as a treat, because he worked there as a cook.
I can count the number of Christmas presents I received as a child on both hands, and I remember every one of them. I treasured my toys, and I don’t feel like I missed anything not having more. Give me marbles and a spinning top, and I could play for hours, outside…in the heat!
I got lots of whoopin’s, most of which I deserved. Back then they called it discipline, however today it’s called child abuse.
I remember my family taking road trips with my grandfather smoking so much the car looked like it belonged in a Cheech and Chong movie, the smoke billowing out when my grandfather thankfully cracked the window enough to see where he was driving.
We camped and fished, visited family often, and saw friends even more frequently. We always knew our neighbors, the people we did business with, and a handshake was better than any paper contract.
I carried those memories and good feelings into adulthood. I never thought about terrorists.
Then 9-11 happened. It changed us. Terror in America was now a real possibility.
But on 9-12 America came together like no other time in my lifetime. On that day, I was never more proud to be an American. It was a day when partisan bickering was cast aside and the America where I had grown up was back.
Flags flew all across America, and Americans were pissed off!! Somebody had attacked our homeland, there was to be hell to pay!
President Bush came on the television, and he said that he would track down the perpetrators, and we would have our justice. I get goose bumps thinking about that.
On 9-12, we weren’t thinking about the Geneva Convention and other nonsense. And if somebody had said that waterboarding is torture, we would have publicly waterboarded him! 9-12 was the only day that I actually tolerated politicians on the Left! That day, America was prepared to rally against any enemy, foreign or domestic.
A world away Muslims were celebrating the event that created the largest single loss of American life ever, and the biggest loss of life on American soil—“Those Infidels are getting what they deserve.”
What a difference a day makes…