The events of 9/11 are directly related in my mind, and so many others, to the war on terror. A war that has been at the forefront of most folk’s newsfeed and media over the past few weeks. We have had countless customers, vendors, friends, and family, reach out to share their thoughts about Afghanistan and ask for ours. We have been mostly silent about reciprocating because my thoughts have been conflicted. Below is what my mind has pondered over the past month and a half. Feel free to read or close the browser. One of the beautiful things about America is you are not forced to read a beefslinger pontificate about war and other events on the other side of the world that have no correlation to Wagyu beef.
Why is Afghanistan called the Graveyard of Empires? You are talking about a country who has experienced toppling empires dating back to before Genghis Khan’s empire. When the country is not actively at war with other nations, they have prolonged civil wars with different political factions and religious secs within their own country. Their people are no stranger to hardship, invasion, and brutally. Which leads me to my next thought…
What does “winning” a war in Afghanistan mean? A few of the answers I jotted down: toppling the Taliban, capture/kill those responsible for 9/11, eliminating the safe-haven for other terrorist groups (ISIS-K, Al-Qaeda, Haqqani network, etc.), creating a safe and prosperous place for the men and women of Afghanistan. These were just a few of my OWN ideas, not what was told to me while I served in Afghanistan or anything I researched. Just spit balling. I don’t know what the correct answer is, and I also think this has been a moving target for the four different presidents who presided over the war.
I don’t know if we spent another five to twenty years in Afghanistan if it would have made a lick of difference in anything other than the death toll and price tag associated with the war. I do know my heart is broken for the people of Afghanistan who believed in our promise of being their ally. I know that while our forces occupied portions of the middle east there has not been another successful 9/11 type terrorist attack. I also know the men and women who laid down their lives in Afghanistan were not in vain. They did so to protect us and our way of life.
I always say the silver lining I think about every 9/11 anniversary is the way the people of America laid aside their differences to mourn together. I am also reminded of how this day twenty years ago shaped the rest of my life and so many others. I am thankful for the service members who have continued the fight against our enemies without having the ability to express their opinions. They do what their country tells them to without the privilege of expressing their opinion.
Last thought, the lesson everyone of us should remember from 9/11 is we never know when our timecard is going to get punched. I would bet a majority of the 2,996 people who woke up that morning did not know it was their last day on earth. What would you different if you knew it was all over at 8:46am EST? Would you take the time to check your social media? Be angry about world events? Get one last argument in with your neighbor about who is right regarding COVID and politics? Or would you hug your kids extra tight when you got them out of bed? Give your spouse a long kiss and tell her you love her? Call your mom and dad to let them know you appreciate everything they have done for you? Make one last attempt at fixing the relationship that has been long broken?
9/11/2021 Never Forget