By: Frank Salvato
We are seventeen years on from the most significant event of our lifetimes: the Islamofascist terror attacks of September 11, 2001. For those who were aware on that day, the events were life-altering, changing the world forever, yet it seems as though we, as a society, have forgotten both the threat and the identity we all were forced to admit. We, the American people, are failing to learn from the events of history; we are failing to learn from the lesson of “the falling man.”
On that fateful day, we all watched as our fellow Americans were brought to a very ugly decision: to weather the heat, flames, and smoke only to suffocate and/or burn to death, or jump from an unimaginable height to a certain death. We watched “the falling man” as he lept from the upper stories of the North Tower at the World Trade Center at 9:41:15 AM EST. In less than a minute he would meet his death at the pavement below.
In the moments, days, weeks and months after the attacks of September 11th, our nation came together as a people. White, Black, Brown, Red, Yellow; Christian, Jew, Atheist, Agnostic and even Muslim, we all became one American people. We were attacked. Our country was attacked. Our people were slaughtered. We felt the grief, the anger, and the bewilderment as a people. We sought to learn about our attackers as a cohesive people and we, as a people, supported bringing justice to those who perpetrated the attacks.
But almost as abrupt as the attacks, the Progressive-Left began shrieking about “tolerance” and “profiling”, labeling anyone who dared identify the origin demographic of the attackers as “Islamophobes” and “xenophobic.” They began to divide the nation, seeking to play on the emotions of the uninformed; those who would blindly look past the obvious to escape the ire of the ideological social engineers of the Progressive-Left.
The mainstream media and social media giants literally took aim at those who tried to educate the American people on the tenets of Islam, the true meaning of jihad in particular. Those writers, pundits, and publications – physical and on the Internet – who did not sign on to the incomplete definition of jihad as solely an inner struggle were marginalized, with many online publications purged from critical-for-survival venues like Google News, Facebook and other popular social media platforms. They claimed that to educate the people on the full and accurate definition of jihad was “hate speech.”
As explained in The Concept & Practice of Jihad in Islam by Michael G. Knapp and published in a paper of the same name by the US Army War College:
“The last 30 years have seen the rise of militant, religiously-based political groups whose ideology focuses on demands for jihad (and the willingness to sacrifice one’s life) for the forceful creation of a society governed solely by the shari’a and a unified Islamic state, and to eliminate un-Islamic and unjust rulers. These groups are also reemphasizing individual conformity to the requirements of Islam.”
Of course, the Progressive-Left only cited the dogmatic definition of “struggle” alluding to the internal-intellectual struggle of the devout, conveniently ignoring the functional definition used by Islamofascist terrorists and their organizations; the same groups that perpetrated the attacks of September 11th. At a time when it was imperative that the American people remained cohesive, the Progressive-Left sought to pull us apart.
Seventeen years on we are more divided than we have ever been since the US Civil War. American pitted against American and because we have been manipulated into believing we have nothing in common when it comes to Left-Right politics and ideology. The truth is this. We are still the same people who came together in the aftermath of the attacks of September 11th. Nothing changed but the narrative we have been fed.
Through it all, the falling man and 2,995 others who perished that day remain dead. Through it all, the truth remains the same: Islamofascist terrorists had declared war twice on the United States, trained terrorists both abroad and on American soil, and slaughtered 2,996 people, injuring over 6,000 more. The cost of the damage to the World Trade Center and the Pentagon is estimated at over $10 billion. Through it all, we buried our countrymen by the scores.
We owe the people who died on September 11, 2001, so much more than what we have become. We owe the falling man more than being divided at the hands of disingenuous ideological actors.
Remember the falling man…and act accordingly. Never forget the lesson of September 11th: We are all Americans, each and every one of us, together.
Frank Salvato is the operating partner at The Archangel Organization, a reputation management and organizational strategies group. He serves as managing editor of The New Media Journal His writing has been recognized by the US House International Relations Committee and the Japan Center for Conflict Prevention. His analysis has been published by The American Enterprise Institute, The Washington Times, and Accuracy in Media, and is syndicated nationally. Mr. Salvato has appeared on The O’Reilly Factor on FOX News Channel and is the author of six books examining internal and external threats facing our country. He can be heard weekly on “The Captain’s America: Third Watch” radio program syndicated nationally on the Salem Broadcasting Network and is a host on The Underground Podcast Network.