I gave my speech this morning at the 9/11 Passion for Freedom event at Jefferson Square brought about by Sir Friendly C Ray Barker. I have to admit there were some good speakers there including, to name a few: Mershon Daniels, Andy Hodges, Peter Hayes, Erica Prentiss, and Ray Barker. I also have to say that while many points were brought home this morning one stuck out in particular to me.
According to Peter Hayes, we lost approximately 3000 people to the 9/11 catastrophe. While we continue to grieve this tragic event brought about by terrorists on American soil, Hayes pointed out that there are over 12,000 murders a year in America by Americans against Americans.
Though we lost 3000 on 9/11/2001 what does this statistic say about us as Americans? 120,000 lives lost right here at home in American crime against American people in the 10 years since 9/11.
Maybe we need to stand against that and take the time to repair that bad side of us.
In the meantime I was asked to post my speech on the website. I don't normally do this but here it is for your review.
Today marks the 10th anniversary of the worst foreign led terrorist attack on the United States in our history.
Thousands lost their lives and families were destroyed in an instant. Thousands more have been destroyed in the 10 years since. This attack was not led against white or black citizens it was an attack against American citizens and our way of life.
For 10 years now we have heard the call of 9-1-1 from our leaders in Washington to right here in Kentucky. It seems everyone loves to shout 9-1-1 in the hopes that we forget or at the very least quit paying attention to what freedom really means. For myself we have devalued the honor of freedom and what we learned in the days after by standing together.
While we are here today supposed to be honoring our fallen heroes of 9-1-1, I ask you to reach beyond that call and think about what we have lost. Our brave men and women in the armed forces and we the American people have lost more than we can ever gain if we do not stand together as we did after that tragedy.
What has 9-1-1 cost us as citizens of these United States?
We are continuing to fight wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and others that continue to cost us lives and destroy families. While the industrial complex in Haliburton, Bechtel, Carlysle Group and many others, all of whom have corporate board members in George Bush, and Dick Cheney as examples, have gotten rich, they have done so by bankrupting America.
As a military veteran I understand the needs of war when necessary yet today there are not many who can present a justifiable argument to continue this travesty of poor decision making.
From George Bush to Barrack Obama we see no end in sight towards the endeavor to bring our troops home.
What is the cost? Families forever altered by lost loved ones. Fathers, mothers, grieving their children's loss.
Children grieving the loss of their fathers and mothers.
A national debt that is so huge our children and our great grandchildren will have to pay for it. If it can be be brought under control at all.
What else has happened?
Freedom in America itself is under attack not by outside forces, but by our own government leadership. They continue to use 9-1-1 as a way of forcing upon us unforeseen ways to control us and watch our every move.
Think I am wrong? Think about freedom here at home since 9-1-1.
The Patriot act has allowed the government to come into our homes via the internet, our personal phones, even cameras at street intersections to watch all that we do. All legal with no probable cause.
I ask you today, is that freedom?
As a veteran I took an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign, and domestic. It is an oath I still adhere to today my friends.
For 10 years now we have allowed the mantra of 9-1-1 to be the focus of our behavior. It has been used to lie, cheat, and manipulate us into a false sense of well being while the leadership continues to dismantle us all.
Is this what we the people are now standing for?
I, for one, sincerely hope not. While we have allowed the call of 9-1-1 to give us some false sense of duty to invade other countries we have sat silently aside as America itself is being invaded from within.
We are being destroyed by greed of the rich and powerful and our own elected leaders.
From Republican President George Bush to Democratic President Barrack Obama, from Republican Mitch McConnell to Democrat Nancy Pelosi, this greed and undermining of America knows no political party boundaries and we are led as sheep to slaughter.
Look around you today and ask why you are here? While you are looking around remember that on average 2 out of 10 of you do not have a job and cannot feed your families, or provide a lifestyle that they deserve.
Ask yourself why? Why did the rich bankers get over $1 trillion of our money to use against the least wealthy amongst us. Could that money have been used to help business create new jobs so we could be proud once more?
Why did they get bailout money for filing illegal foreclosures and continue to use that illegal practice against those who need the help the most?
More importantly, Why have we become so complacent in keeping our mouths shut and allowing this to happen?
I am reminded of two great leaders in our history. You may have heard of them.
President John F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King, JR. Both were killed for daring to stand up against the machine.
John F. Kennedy uttered these words in his inaugural speech:
Now the trumpet summons us again -- not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need -- not as a call to battle, though embattled we are -- but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out, "rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation," a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease, and war itself.
I say to you today that those trumpets are sounding again. The common enemies of man that Kennedy spoke of are more prevalent today than ever. tyranny, poverty, and war itself.
Can there be any question of that?
Dr. King was able to unite millions both black, and white, in the quest for freedom and equality in America.
Were his efforts in vain? I hope not.
But even in that effort we have continued to allow our so called leaders to keep us divided almost 50 years later. Using race, abortion, anything they can to keep us from standing together and opening our eyes to what is wrong with America.
Dr. King stated in "I have a Dream" that:
...we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so, we've come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.
Though Dr. King was speaking of the freeing of African Americans I urge you today to consider that ALL of us regardless of color are indeed slaves and are being left out of the great land of opportunity we call America.
Have we achieved the riches of freedom as Americans? What about the security of justice? I think not.
Both parties have let us down but only because we have allowed them to do so. Yes we share in the blame but more importantly we can share in the fix. Hold our leaders accountable to what we elected them to do.
We owe it to our families, and more importantly to each other. United we stand, divided we fall.
We have been divided long enough.
John Kennedy said the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. Do not let that fear destroy America but allow it to motivate each and every one of us to make a stronger America so we no longer have to live in fear.
It is only then that we will truly be free and the many lives lost during and since 9-1-1 will mean something other than a rallying cry.
I say to you today my fellow citizens, Let freedom ring.
Thank you and God Bless America.