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                                                       911
              In our individual and collective lives there are terms, acronyms, and dates that we cannot forget.  Whether we like it or not, they help inform and form the people that we are.  The reference to “911” is one such reference point.  Like the day JFK was shot in Dallas, MLK was shot, and RFK was shot, the beginning and end of the Vietnam War, these are events that have affected me and many who will be reading this.  The events of 911 bring such disturbing images and thoughts which trouble us and cause us to recollect, contemplate, and wonder why….  Those momentous events during which we were living inevitably leave their marks on our lives.  I doubt that there is a single person reading this who does not recall exactly where he or she was, or what he or she was doing when the first attack on the World Trade Center occurred, then the second, then the attack on the Pentagon, then the crash of Flight 93.

             I was in Henrico Circuit Court in Judge Tidy’s court, when the Deputies came in at about 9:45 AM, cleared the Court, and performed a security sweep of the courtroom.  In the hall all the lawyers milled about, and wondered what the issue was…When court reconvened the Judge quietly announced that the World Trade Center had been attacked.  Like a bolt of lightning, I saw very clearly that my life had changed the instant the first plane flew into the first building.   As a Commander of troops in the Active Reserve, I immediately knew that this was an attack caused by Bin Laden and his Al-Qaeda terrorist group, a group my units had been researching and about whom we had been developing an intelligence profile.  We weren’t the only military intelligence assets directed against these merchants of death, but I felt somehow responsible to find justice in the rubble that followed.  I also knew I would be in the first “wave” of military response, and I was.   Three weeks later I had left my family and professional life and was living and working in Washington DC and all my troops had been mobilized and we were living in various intelligence sites on the Eastern Seaboard. That is where we stayed for almost a year.

             This was a turning point in my life and the life of the country, and contributed to where we are today.  First one, then two wars, the Patriot Act, and a sense of insecurity permeated our national dialogue.  We had all studied in history that the US homeland had been spared damage through the two world wars, Korea, and Vietnam, but a group of terrorists had struck in the heart of the economic center of the country.  Many of us, particularly those defending the country, thought very simply, “How could this happen?”  But we were united in one objective, to protect the country from another attack and to exact revenge.

             During my mobilization, I drove by the site of the scarred Pentagon building every day.  I saw tragedies that are almost indescribable, but are indelibly etched into my memory.  In the course of the decade that followed two wars began and have not ended, many of my Active Duty and Reserve friends and my own son went to war, and at one point he almost became a statistic in Iraq.  While there was enormous sacrifice here and abroad by first responders and our military, there was uncontrolled spending, while others who showed the flaws of humanity: greed and corruption, that led to the real estate “bubble,” then the meltdown, the recession, and now lack of civility among our leaders who are supposed to set the example to the people as they defend the country against enemies, domestic and foreign.  To some we appear to have become our own enemy.  

             As I contemplate my own past service to this country and my effort to serve again, I am encouraged in this by the examples of the real leaders who have gone before, the first responders of 911, those who ran into burning buildings to save the occupants, sometimes knowing they wouldn’t make it out, the courageous men and women who fought, and who are fighting today: those who disregard their own safety to save their fellow soldiers.  This is what it means to be American.  Arrogance, sniping, lack of civility among leaders are the hallmarks of a nation in decline, and we are not in decline.  We are the people who demand decency, value sacrifice time and time again to preserve, protect, and perpetuate our nation of the people, by the people, and for the people.  

             I would still sacrifice my life this minute to save this democracy, just as I promised I would when I wore a uniform for 30 years, because we’re worth it.  My family, children, grandchildren, and yours are worth it.  We are still the best hope for the world, and we should never forget that.  As one retired Senator recently said, “Those politicians who put their own interests above the interests of the country have no right to be in government.”  He’s right.  We need to demonstrate how strong we are by electing those leaders who view self-sacrifice over self-interest, and we need to return the country to citizen politicians, and take it away from the professional politicians who view retaining power as an end in itself, as more important than the good of the people.  That is what I stand for, and that is why I run….

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (13+ / 0-)

    The greatest privilege of being human is to be yourself. (Paraphrase of Joseph Campbell)

    by Wayne Powell for Congress on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 01:45:53 PM PDT

  •  Thanks for joining the Kos community and (9+ / 0-)

    I hope you'll hang out, answer some questions in the comments, and generally help us get to know you better. You'll be amazed at the sheer volume of people here; don't let a Sunday night crowd fool you. This place is the largest, most active and most dedicated Democratic community online.

    I, for one, am positively thrilled to see Democrats going after Eric Cantor's seat. Cantor is a fine example of everything wrong with our government.

    Anyway, Mr Powell, I noticed a few key things missing from your profile, so I'm adding them here: Your profile twitter link is broken, so here's a working link: https:/twitter.com#!/ewaynepowell

    Also, here's a link to your website, Wayne Powell for Congress where I was impressed with your military career:

    Mr. Powell served for thirty (30) years as a Reserve and Active Duty Army officer. He served 5 of his 30 years on active duty, and commanded a specialized intelligence unit that was the first of its type after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Mr. Powell was highly decorated during his military career. Among these awards, he received the Legion of Merit when he retired as a full Colonel from active duty in July 2002.

    The future isn't what it used to be. ~George Carlin
    48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam

    by Eileen B on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 02:23:40 PM PDT

  •  Glad to see you... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eileen B, DRo, Ian Reifowitz, msmacgyver

    Hope you become a regular here.

    "...Demoralization caused by vast unemployment is our greatest extravagance. Morally, it is the greatest menace to our social order." FDR

    by wrights on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 05:26:40 AM PDT

  •  Best of luck to you! eom (4+ / 0-)

    Be the change you want to see in the world. -Gandhi

    by DRo on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 05:33:23 AM PDT

  •  Welcome! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eileen B, skohayes, msmacgyver

    Great to see you here. Keep coming and sharing what you're up to with us!

    My forthcoming book Obama's America: A Transformative Vision of Our National Identity will be published in Summer 2012 by Potomac Books.

    by Ian Reifowitz on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 05:43:48 AM PDT

  •  Anyone with the mettle to go up against (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eileen B, msmacgyver, wrights

    Cantor is certainly welcome here.  Good for you!

  •  Thank you for coming (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eileen B, msmacgyver, wrights

    Eric Cantor is on the top of my list for replacement in Congress!
    Whatever we can do to help, don't hesitate to ask.

    You will never know what it’s like to work on a farm until your hands are raw, just so people can have fresh marijuana. Jack Handey

    by skohayes on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 06:17:50 AM PDT

  •  Welcome! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    msmacgyver, Eileen B, wrights

    I'm not one to comment on things very often as I am relatively "new" to the whole political mess that we're in.  

    So I just wanted to offer my support and wish you the best of luck with your campaign.  I look forward to reading more from you.

    "To make democracy work, we must be a nation of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain." - Louis L'Amour

    by Drokkenian on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 07:16:08 AM PDT

  •  Welcome and thanks for the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eileen B, wrights

    excellent Diary!

    We want to know more about you and hope you will take time to respond to comments in your future Diaries.

    I agree with your point of view and support your campaign...

    As one retired Senator recently said, “Those politicians who put their own interests above the interests of the country have no right to be in government.”  He’s right.  We need to demonstrate how strong we are by electing those leaders who view self-sacrifice over self-interest, and we need to return the country to citizen politicians, and take it away from the professional politicians who view retaining power as an end in itself, as more important than the good of the people.  That is what I stand for, and that is why I run….

    May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house. George Carlin

    by msmacgyver on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 07:33:36 AM PDT

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