Charlie Daniels: My Most Poignant and Bruising Memory Was on 9/11

Charlie Daniels
By Charlie Daniels | September 11, 2017 | 8:49 AM EDT

The "Tribute in Light" memorial is in remembrance of the events of Sept. 11, 2001, in honor of the citizens who lost their lives in the World Trade Center attacks. The memorial was first held in March 2002. This photo was taken from Liberty State Park, N.J., on Sept. 11, 2006, the five year anniversary of 9/11. (U.S. Air Force photo/Denise Gould)

There are a few days in my life when I remember the location and the circumstances of my surroundings, when I learned about events that really meant something in my life.

I was only five when Pearl Harbor was bombed, but I recall it well.

I was eight the when victory over Hitler’s Nazis was declared, but I remember the celebrations and jubilation.

I remember where I was when man first walked on the moon, the day Elvis died, the night Lynyrd Skynyrd’s plane went down and many other vivid memories that had an effect on me in a personal or professional manner.

But my most poignant and bruising memory was on September 11, 2001 when Charlie, Jr. called me and told me that a plane had crashed into the WTC twin towers in New York, shortly followed by another, a plane crash in the Pennsylvania country side and yet another crash into the Pentagon.

It was the most confusing day I can ever remember, as America went on full alert, grounding commercial air traffic and all of us wondering how far it would go.

Was this the end of the plane crashes, or were there more to come?

Were there terrorist cells amongst us that would take the battle to the streets?

Who pulled this off, and how did they do it?

Was this a random act of terrorism, or was it the beginning of an all-out war?

The answers were slow in coming, and when they did, America wanted immediate action.

America was mad. America was insulted and could see no reason how this could have happened. America was willing, at least for a little while, to forget about being Democrats or Republicans, conservatives or liberals, black, white, straight, gay, rich or poor, and for a while, we all became plain old garden variety Americans, united under the same flag for the same common causes, protecting our nation and vying for retribution against our enemies.

We were one people, one nation, under God, indivisible.

President Bush took us into Afghanistan, and quickly thereafter into Iraq. In retrospect the mistakes we made are easy to identify, but in the heat of the moment, in the take no chances atmosphere of the day, America pushed back the Taliban, destroyed Saddam Hussein’s military might and occupied the tactical parts of Iraq.

President Obama, against the advice of his military advisors, pulled out the troops, refusing to leave even the minimum required to maintain the territory we controlled, and in the process, enabled ISIS, and gave back the hard-won Iraqi territory that had cost the blood of American soldiers.

I could never figure out an American president who couldn’t even bring himself to properly identify the radical Islamic terrorists who threatened our very existence.

And our most dangerous Islamic enemy, Iran was basically on their last leg when Obama-Kerry cut a one-sided deal that would refill Iran’s empty coffers and enable their sponsorship of terrorism around the world.

I don’t know what President Obama could have been thinking, unless it was about his legacy, and at least in my book, the rearming of our sworn enemy is a heck of a legacy to leave.

Just to think that Iran, a nation ruled by Islamists dedicated to the eradication of us and everything we believe in, a religion that condones lying as long as it’s in the cause of Islam, is pretty thin reasoning for sending a planeload of cash and lifting sanctions on the bloodthirsty Imams who rule Iraq. Believing they would abide by anything, has got to be a long stretch.

We’ve made a myriad of mistakes along the way in dealing with terrorism, some due to bad military decisions on Bush’s watch, and some due to Obama’s blind spot for Islam during his administration.

We can no longer afford to make mistakes as the specter of nuclear devices enters the picture.

We can’t afford to make a single mistake in dealing with North Korea or any of the other nations hostile to us.

If our hand is forced and we have to go to war, it has to be with both barrels blazing, and our top priority should be the protection of America and American troops. No more sending our men and women into combat with one hand tied behind their backs.

No more halfhearted efforts. No more pitiful attempts at a one-sided diplomacy. No more lifting of sanctions, until they have fully achieved their goal.

America has not finished a war since WWII, and if we’re going to let political correctness and media heat run our wars, we should never fight another one because we’ll never win.

The times when neglect of our military has hampered our readiness, when planes can’t be flown because of the lack of spare parts, when the strength of our military is hampered by budget cuts and the dismissal of some of our most seasoned officers can no longer be tolerated.

While we have been squeezing our defensive efforts for the last eight years, China and Russia have been building theirs. And Obama’s passive posture and violated red lines have emboldened the maniac in North Korea into thinking he can do anything he wants.


We can either build up the manpower, weaponry, technology and morale of our military, draw some rock-solid lines with real consequences or live in constant threat and fear.

We can either stand tall in strength or kneel in weakness.

What do you think?

Pray for our troops, our police and the peace of Jerusalem

God Bless America

Charlie Daniels

Charlie Daniels is a legendary American singer, song writer, guitarist, and fiddler famous for his contributions to country and southern rock music. Daniels has been active as a singer since the early 1950s. He was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry on January 24, 2008.


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