On September 11, 2001, I was staying with my brother Charlie in Hot Springs. I was there from Fairbanks, Alaska, where I was working as an FAA inspector. We were scheduled to drive to New Orleans the following day to attend the WWII Ranger Reunion. My father, Steve, was one of Darby’s Rangers and passed away in 1993. In his honor, I joined the Sons and Daughters of WWII Rangers who were responsible for the logistics of putting on the 2001 reunion. Charlie and I were watching TV (Katie Couric) early that morning when the first plane hit. Knowing something about aviation, I said, “This doesn’t make sense. The sky is as clear as a bell. Why would a plane be flying that low in NYC, and how could it hit the World Trade Center?” We watched as the second plane hit, and Couric said something like, “It appears this may not be an accident.” I turned to Charlie and said, “No ****.” It was obvious then that America was under attack. Soon thereafter, I was at Larry’s, a friend’s house in Hot Springs and we watched the first tower fall. We agreed, “We’re getting ready to go to war.” His mother was also watching and asked, “How long do you think we’ll be at war?” Off the top of my head, I said, “Twenty years or more.” I went back to Charlie’s house and called the hotel in New Orleans to see if they had cancelled the reunion—they most certainly had not. It would take more than a 9/11 to stop those old Rangers; it made them want to come all the more. As the airlines were not flying, they were driving in from all around the United States. So, Charlie and I took off driving to New Orleans on 9/12, even though rumors were rampant about gas shortages and stations being closed. We arrived at the hotel in New Orleans with no problems and found it full of Rangers and their families, including Rangers who served in WWII, Korea, Vietnam and an active duty contingent of Rangers from Ft. Benning who were there to present the colors and put on demonstrations. A young sergeant was in charge of those active duty Rangers. His name was Martin Barreras (please Google and read about him). Over the years, whenever back from Afghanistan or Iraq, Marty made a point to attend WWII Ranger reunions. Those young Rangers did their jobs at the reunion in New Orleans. They were pleasant and positive, but you could tell by the look in their eyes that they had other things on their mind—it was a serious, hard and vengeful look. A few weeks later, those Rangers would be in Afghanistan. The reunion was amazing, full of confidence, patriotism and good times. Charlie and I had stumbled into the camp of the greatest warriors in the world at the onset of a war. I had never in my life felt so proud, confident and secure as I did during that week immediately after 9/11 among those warriors. Over twenty years, those Rangers and Rangers not yet born fought in that war and defeated that enemy. This embarrassing conclusion to the war in Afghanistan has nothing to do with those Rangers and their military brothers who fought in the war or their will to continue fighting, but owes to the incompetence of generals, politicians and bureaucrats, the same ones responsible for the war I fought in—Vietnam. Charlie and I drove back to Hot Springs, and everywhere we looked, people were flying the American flag. As I flew back to Fairbanks on one of the first commercial flights since 9/11, I was confident America was the greatest country in the world and could defeat any enemy. Now, with Marxists in control of much of the government, I’m beginning to have my doubts: 9/11/2021.