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Sep 10th, 2011 by Richard Lowry
Never Forget

This is the first flag carried into battle by the United States Marine Corps

I will never forget the clear sunny morning of September 11th, 2001 and, I will never forget the cowardly attack that was perpetrated on America that day. 9/11 changed our lives forever. Americans lost their innocence on that day. I remember telling my sons that America would never be the same.

Nearly three thousand innocent Americans were killed in the 9/11 terror attacks and each family lost a mother, father, brother, sister, son or daughter. None deserved their violent end in the terror of flames and crumbling concrete. We must never forget those we lost that day, including the hundreds of police, EMTs and firefighters who charged into Harm’s way to help others.

Our lives were indelibly changed yet over the years; many Americans have lost sight of why we went to war. We went to war to hunt down and bring to justice the fanatic terrorist leaders who ordered the 9/11 attacks. The hunt focused on Osama bin Laden and his reviled al Qaeda network.

In the process, America went after the radical fundamentalist government of Afghanistan who harbored bin Laden and his group, al Qaeda. The Taliban were quickly deposed and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who had gone to Afghanistan to fight and kill Americans, was wounded while serving as one of bin Laden’s lieutenants.

Zarqawi managed to escape the American onslaught and ended up in a hospital in Baghdad, where he was nursed back to health. Once Abu Musab al-Zarqawi recovered, he slipped out of sight. I have been told by a former Army intelligence officer that he was then ordered by Osama to find a new location for al-Qaeda to train and plan. Bin Laden needed a new base of operations after the Americans had driven his followers out of Tarnak Farms in Afghanistan.

Zargawi found an ideal location on a small finger of land in the mountains of Northern Iraq. He founded his own terrorist organization, Ansar al-Islam, and built the largest terrorist training camp in the world. The facility was up and running in 2002 and it is believed that al-Qaeda was training its people in the newly established camp long before the 2003 invasion.

Everyone remembers the American invasion into Iraq from the south, but few know of the Special Forces Operation – Viking Hammer – in which Kurds and Americans attacked and cleared Zarqawi’s training facility, in March of 2003. Unfortunately, Zarqawi slipped away again. Few know that the American military chased al-Qaeda into Iraq. American forces then spent many years hunting down and eliminating al-Qaeda leaders throughout the country.

Unfortunately, most remember the Abu Ghraib scandal in which a handful of demented American soldiers abused some Iraqi prisoners. Most don’t remember that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi savagely beheaded Nick Berg in his next stronghold inside Fallujah.

Never forget, that we were attacked and never forget that we have been working all these years to bring 9/11’s perpetrators to justice. Fly your flag today, just like you did ten years ago. Show the world, friends and enemies alike, that we will never forget.

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Feb 17th, 2011 by Richard Lowry
USS New York – Memorial Library
USS New York

USS New York

A former New York City Firefighter was invited to the commissioning of the Navy Amphibious ship, USS New York. He was so impressed with the ship and its crew that he wanted to do something to honor their service to our nation. John contacted me a few months ago to ask me if I could help him in his project.

John was assembling a collection of books to donate to the New York’s library. He wanted to provide a selection of books written about New York, its fire and police departments, 9/11 and the current war on terror. John wanted to make it a world-class collection, worthy of filling the shelves of USS New York’s library. And, he wanted to have each of the books autographed by the author. That’s why John contacted me. He asked me if I would sign a copy of New Dawn.

The USS New York LPD21 is taking the war on terror to our enemies. USS New York, whose bow is forged from 75 tons of steel of the fallen World Trade Center, is now an active participant in the Navy/Marine, Blue/Green team. New York can carry 1,000 Marines and their equipment to any hotspot in the world and can forward deploy as part of an Amphibious Ready Group to stand ready near potential hot spots.

The Blue/Green team provides the United States military with a unique capability. They provide a mobile platform that has staying power anywhere in the world. And, while remaining in international waters, they can send a message without creating an international incident. They provide a credible deterrent because they stand ready to protect Americans, provide disaster relief, or project American military force where necessary.

It is safe to assume that at least one Marine Expeditionary Unit is afloat today and they are standing ready to evacuate American citizens from Egypt, Bahrain or Tunisia.

Only the Navy/Marine team can provide the expeditionary capability needed in our turmoil trodden future. Multi-million dollar fighter jets won’t protect us from the hazards of the 21st Century but the Navy/Marine team stands ready to deal with real crises now and in the foreseeable future.

Please help John and me to promote USS New York’s new library. If you know an author of books that would be appropriate for this library, please contact me through my website at www.newdawnbook.com.

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