Today is September 11th, a date which is certainly significant in most of our lives. For many of us, this morning brought into sharp focus the fact that these United States were under attack, that all leave was cancelled, and we were soon to march to war. It's also the day my son was born, 14 years after the attacks that has altered the very world in which he and his older sister will grow up. And though I couldn't possibly have realized it at 21 years old, single and without them - I have failed my children by focusing on the wrong enemies, fighting a bunch of illiterate goat f*$kers in Afghanistan and later Iraq while the real fight was here at home, in the halls of Congress, in conference rooms of executive agencies wielding immoral and unconstitutional power, in the Oval Office, and even among friends and family with whom we have and at times still break bread. Yes, America was attacked on September 11th, 2001. And she has been attacked every day since by elected officials, by unelected bureaucrats, by large segments of We, the People. We have cheered as the Bill of Rights has been torn apart, as the Constitutional limits on the power of the State ignored because of "the terrorists." Every year when today rolls around, it's the same bullshit. "Never Forget." "You said you would never forget." "America, you have forgotten." America has never recognized that real casualty on 9/11 was America itself - those almost 3000 souls who went to the Almighty that morning notwithstanding. Within hours of the attacks, the erosions of Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness began in earnest. Yes, we all came together, United, and were then led by the nose in the wrong directions, cheering wildly as the very foundation of the Republic was destroyed. Annually we try and recapture that fleeting unity, thinking if we relive the trauma of that morning 18 years ago, things will miraculously get better. But I want to take you to another September 11th morning - to the largest battle of the Revolutionary War that occurred on September 11, 1777. Brandywine. Before the battle, Reverend Joab Trout gathered with the troops on the night of September 10, 1777 and said the following prayer: The entire sermon is too long to post, but is available in the New Hampshire State Archives. But this is what Americans were preparing to fight for on that 9/11: “Soldiers and Countrymen: We have met this evening perhaps for the last time. We have shared the toil of march, the peril of flight, and the dismay of the retreat; alike we have endured the cold and hunger, the contumely of the internal foe and the courage of foreign oppression. We have sat, night after night, beside the campfire; we have together heard the roll of the reveille which called us to duty, or the beat of the tattoo which gave the signal for the hardy sleep of the soldier with the earth for his bed and knapsack for his pillow. And now, soldiers and brethren, we have met in the peaceful valley on the eve of battle while the sunlight is dying away behind yonder heights, the sunlight that, tomorrow morn, will glimmer on scenes of blood. We have met amid the whitening tents of our encampment, in time of terror and gloom, have gathered together, God grant it may not be the last time. It is a solemn moment, Brethren, does not the voice of nature seem to echo the sympathies of the hour? The flag of our country droops heavily from yonder staff; the breeze has died away along the green plains of Chadd's Ford--the heights of the Brandywine arise gloomily beyond yonder stream--all nature pauses in solemn silence, on the eve of tomorrow. *** Soldiers, I look around upon your familiar faces with a strange interest. Tomorrow morning we will go forth to battle, for I need not tell you that your unworthy minister will march with you, invoking God's aid in the fight--we will march forth to battle! Need I exhort you to fight the good fight, to fight for your homesteads, for your wives and children? I might urge you by galling memories of British wrongs; I might paint all this again in the vivid colors of the terrible reality, if I thought your courage needed such wild excitement. But I know you are strong in the might of the Lord. You will march forth to battle on the morrow with light hearts and determined spirits, though the duty of avenging the dead may rest heavy on your souls. And in the hour of battle, when all around is lit by the lurid cannonade-glare, and the piercing musket-flash, when the wounded strew the ground, and the dead litter your path, then remember that God is with you; God the awful and infinite fights for you and will triumph Great Father, we bow before thee, we invoke thy blessing, we deprecate thy wrath, we thee return thanks for the past, we ask thy aid for the future; for we are in times of trouble, O Lord, and sore beset by foes, merciless and unpitying. The sword gleams over our land, the dust of the sod is dampened with the blood of our neighbors and friends. O God of mercy, we pray thy blessing upon the American arms. Make the man of our hearts strong in thy wisdom; bless, we beseech thee, with renewed life and strength, our hope and thy instrument, even George Washington. Shower thy counsels on the Honorable the Continental Congress. Visit the tents of our host, comfort the soldier in his wounds and afflictions; nerve him for the fight and prepare him for the hour of death. And in the hour of defeat, O God of hosts, do thou be our stay, and in the hour of triumph be thou our guide. Teach us to be merciful. Though the memory of galling wrongs be at our hearts knocking for admittance, that they may fill us with the desire of revenge, yet let us, O Lord, spare the vanquished, though they never spared us. In the hour of death do thou guide us to the abode prepared for the blest. So shall we return thanks to thee through Christ our Redeemer. God prosper the cause. Amen.” Chaplain Joab Trout did not survive the battle. What would these men, this Host of Worthies think about our generation's 9/11, and the 18 years hence? Would they say we have done well, we have done our duty as Free Men? Or would they look at us with disdain, with contempt? Would they repent for all the pains they took to secure Liberty, only to have us so foolishly and impotently let it be taken from us by vain and aspiring men and women in the halls of power? These are questions we must both individually and collectively answer if a nation so conceived will continue to endure, or be relegated to a footnote in human history.