“These are the Times that Try Men’s Souls”-Thomas Paine

This is the first part of a multi-part blog today on the feelings, actions, and effects of honoring 9/11 victims with today’s fight.

It started yesterday as I thought about today, the twentieth anniversary of 9/11. It was a busy day in my current life as retired. It started out with a conversation with a man named “Bunky” and ended with inspiration from a group of medical workers, involved citizens, a gubernatorial candidate, Mark Levin, and Thomas Paine.

I began my day thinking about how awful 9/11 was and how I felt that day. Like many of you, I was horrified, saddened, afraid, and angry. So angry that I wanted to lash out at the people who had done this. I remember sitting up all night watching the news as they repeated the events over and over. I couldn’t sleep. It was like being in some terrible nightmare that wouldn’t end.

After a few days, emotions strangely turned into a feeling of pride and patriotism as I heard of the bravery of policemen, firemen, passengers on flight 93, our military, and every day men and women. I watched our country, having just suffered a devastating terrorist attack, come together in the true meaning of “E pluribus unum,” from many, one. We were all different, had different backgrounds, ethnic groups, socio economic status, etc. but we were unified against an enemy of our country.

It was truly being unified, which, unlike the stiffling concept of unity that many leftists use today, means being different, having different ideas, but standing together for certain principals, mainly freedom. We respected our differences as we worked together to put our country back on it’s feet.

In the midst of these thoughts, I got a call from a man named Bunky. It was a call that I will remember as pivotal in the coming years. This is like so many of the new relationships I have built with fellow Americans in the last five years.

Bunky is not the kind of man people think about when they consider the kind of change that needs to happen in our country right now. He is a waterman, granted one that started an association for watermen in our area and activated people to fight against unjust government interference, but a plain spoken grandfather with a love for God, his family, and our country.

The elites in Washington D.C. would probably not have much to do with Bunky. He doesn’t wear fancy suits, speak in groomed English, or have fancy degrees. Plus, he believes in freedom.

But Bunky is one of the best examples of the people who built this country and made it successful. His heart is on his sleeve, he gets things done, and you know when he speaks to you he is speaking the truth. And when he is on your side, you can rely on him.

We hit it off immediately.

He was calling to invite me to a meeting that night. It was a meeting of medical workers who were fighting their employers who were forcing them to take the Covid 19 vaccine or be fired. I’m not a medical worker, but because I work with several other groups in the county, one against Critical Race Theory in the classroom, one against mask and vaccine mandates, and another that is seeking a return to the founding principles of this country, he was hoping I would come and bring others.. He proposed an idea of an alliance between all of us fighting so we could support each other. Strength in numbers.

It was a last minute invitation, but I attended along with others from our group.

You know how you make those decisions that you know are going to be vitally important in what happens in your life for years to come? Last night was one of those decisions.

As I drove to the meeting, Mark Levin was on the radio talking about 9/11 and how it affected our country. He played Toby Keith’s song, “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue” ( The Angry American). If you don’t know the song, it’s about a country figthing back against a surprise attack. It’s about anger, and toughness and striking back. It’s about being from a long line of fighters who gave it all for our country. It’s about standing up against evil.

And it hit me. Twenty years later, we are reeling from another terrorist attack. It doesn’t involve human lives being tragically taken in one day by flying planes into buildings or into the ground, it involves the slow, insidious destruction of our country bit by bit. Killing businesses, killing education, killing the economy, killing our freedoms. And, yes, taking human life either through a planned virus, the mental devastation of lockdowns and restrictions, or a faulty vaccine not fully tested but now mandated. Terrorists of a different kind, politicians and bureaucrats in positions of power who see the everyday citizen as an impediment, someone who should be made to comply, be ignored, or eliminated.

This is the 2021 version of 9/11. It started on January 20th of 2021 with the inauguration of a “President” who “won” by theft and has progressed to this day. It is an attack of lies, of illegal executive orders allowing invasion of our country by two million illegals, of ending energy independence by stopping oil production in our country, of overspending to the point that we are broke and possibly unable to meet our obligations, of selling our country to the Chinese, of purging our military and police forces of those who would defend our Constitutional rights and aren’t “woke”, of destroying our international and national safety by surrendering to Islamo- Nazis in a land we had fought in for over 20 years, of leaving hundreds of our citizens and billions of dollars of our military equipment to those groups, and of forcing many citizens to undergo unproven medical vaccination “rape” in order to keep their jobs and support their family, while exempting those who belong to unions who made deals or who come here illegally. All at the hands of a senile, stupid President and his tyrannical regime who divide us by every descriptor possible.

The visuals may not have been as striking, but the effects are just as bad. And this time, the terrorists have not united us against them, they have divided us against each other. As Paine said, “The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of this country.” There are so many of those in our country right now.

I am just as angry now as I was in 2001. Maybe angrier.

I walked into this meeting of people who had been there during the pandemic, working with patients day and night with little regard for their own safety. They worked while others cowered at home afraid to go out without their useless masks and social distancing. These people did what they thought was needed to help us get through.

And now they were being told they either had to have this vaccine whether they wanted or needed it, whether it was safe or not, or they would be fired. They and their families are being held hostage by corporate medical tyrants. All at the word of lying health organizations who were neither honest nor competent with the presentation of their data.

But, there is a silver lining. When I walked in the room and later when Bunky began speaking, I felt for a moment like I was back in one of the covert meetings of the patriots in the beginnings of our country. All we needed to complete that image was an old bar and some beer.

You might think that’s hyperbole, but think about it. Those men and women who created the idea of this country were no more educated, accomplished, or intelligent than the people in this room. The founding creators of our country were lawyers, teachers, doctors, farmers, merchants, preachers, and soliders. They had the same kind of meetings to discuss the wrongs they had suffered at the hand of a tyrant King George ( who, by the way, was mentally compromised.)

This group was more focused on the legal ways to fight their battle than those men might have been. There was no talk of violence or physical battles, but more about how to assert the rights through strength of ideas and the Constitution. A state delegate, Dan Cox, spoke on speaker phone about the rights of citizens and how others had asserted themselves with their employers. Bunky talked about steps, steps to keep them moving forward.

The group reacted to all of it with energy. Some of them didn’t need to fight, they had taken the vaccine earlier and their jobs were not in jeopardy. Some had gotten exemptions. Some of them were not even health workers, but parents and citizens fighting mask mandates and other government wrongs. But they were unified and committed to the cause of freedom.

And through it all there was Bunky, helping guide the group, not so he could be their leader, but so he could help them advocate for themselves. Folksy, plain spoken, self deprecating and practical, he was like a modern day Ben Franklin ( without the questionable social habits. ) He doesn’t have to do this. He is retired so he can spend time with his grandkids. But he sees what we all see.

It is what Thomas Paine saw, ” Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated. “

It’s the beginning of a long fight. Except this fight won’t be in a foreign land and won’t be fought by military. It will be a fight for freedom contested by the citizens of this country. Soldiers in their own right, fighting with ideas and peaceful protest.

I drove home feeling ready. Ready to stand up for this country. Just like we did on 9/12/2001. Thank goodness, because as one of my favorite podcast hosts, LT of “And We Know” put it, “I’m so tired.” But, I don’t have time to be tired. This is the best way to honor those who died that day, by fighting tooth and nail for our freedoms.

And it needs to start now.

SIDE NOTE: Who was Thomas Paine? Although he didn’t serve as a general, didn’t write the Declaration or Constitution, Paine was considered the writer who inspired the American revolution. Washington read Paine’s first “Crisis” in “America in Crisis” to his troops when they were dispirited and suffering after Washington’s retreat across the Delaware. The first line inspired them to victory in the battle of Trenton. He was one of the first of his time to write against slavery. He also was a strong proponent of property rights. He wasn’t a fan of organized religion, which might explain why only 6 people showed up for his funeral.

Paine, to me, is that person who stands next to you at a concert or athletic event and screams the entire time. He has so much passion for what he writes. While Jefferson, Adams, et al. had great ideas, Paine had the ideas and the emotion. And we need all of that today.

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I am a 67 year old runner and conservative. I taught for 31 years and retired a few years back. In my life, I have coached and judged gymnastics, coached softball, and raised two amazing kids.

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