Marines.Together We Served

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

When It's All Said and Done

I’m grateful for those who protect our freedoms. You are probably thinking that I’m referring to our military. Yes, of course, I have the greatest respect for them and the way they perform their jobs. But I’m actually thinking of one particular person. That would be our out-going president, George W. Bush.

Whatever your political persuasion might be, it simply cannot be denied that following 9-11 we have not had another incident of terrorist attack on American soil. As of this writing, that’s 2,667 days!

Think back with me. Remember how we all sat around utterly stunned on 9-11? We simply could not believe we’d been so viciously attacked. Nor was there any viable reason for it. And remember how we were all convinced that more such attacks were imminent? I was one of those. I thought for sure we’d be hit continuously for a period of days if not weeks. Remember how the airline industry nearly went belly-up because no one wanted to get on an airplane? We wondered if our railroads would also be hit. Perhaps bombs set off on our highways. Do you also remember how President Bush addressed the nation, the world, and the terrorists who did this to us, and laid down the law? Was there any doubt in your mind that he meant business?

As for legacies, a person’s best legacy should always be that they did what was right. When it comes time for those who write the legacies of our leaders, the overriding legacy for our 43rd President should be that he kept America safe from terrorists following 9-11. This legacy of safety was handed to his successor, who in turn, should strive to maintain the same policy.

Don’t be mistaken. I’m not suggesting that President Bush be made a saint, or canonized, or even placed on Mount Rushmore along with the current residents, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. There are numerous aspects of President Bush’s policies that I did not agree with; positions he took which disappointed me; and opportunities he had to speak to the American people about what he was doing, yet did not do so. I would liked to have seen him use the “bully pulpit” more frequently.

That being said, you and I are safe in our homes and jobs today because this president stood up to the terrorists, did the hard work, and made us safe. We actually felt safer, even though we were only too aware that at any time another terrorist attack could be forthcoming.

Some in our nation have accused the president of master-minding this heinous attack of 9-11. Are you kidding? Not only does this stretch the bounds of credulity, it simply would be impossible to pull off without a whole lot of people knowing about it and then keeping their mouths shut to boot! I’ve read all the supposed conspiracy theories and have dismissed them for the poppycock that it is.

So as President George W. Bush says farewell to Washington DC, and retires to his home in Texas, we should all be grateful for the courageous stand this man took at a time of national crisis. He did not slink back from these evil-doers, nor did he try to make nice with them. He understood exactly what they had in mind. He also understood what would get their attention. That’s where our military men and women come in. There’s nothing like a good punch in the nose to get the bad guy’s attention!

When it is all said and done, we have been well served by this president when it comes to national security and protection from enemies bent on our destruction. It will be interesting to see how the new administration handles the war on terrorism. I know what has been said. But there’s a world of difference between what is said at the moment that will get people to vote for you, and the reality of decision-making in facing down America’s enemies.

Thank you, Mr. President. You have served the American people well. May God bless you and Mrs. Bush as you enjoy a rest from your labors.

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