Monday, September 11, 2006

9/11 ... a Nation remembers....


"Freedom itself was attacked this morning by a faceless coward, and freedom will be defended." - President George W. Bush, 9/11/01

"I will not forget the wound to our country and those who inflicted it. I will not yield, I will not rest, I will not relent in waging this struggle for freedom and security for the American people."
- President George W. Bush, 2001

In MEMORY of my American heroes on 9/11 ...

- Lance Cpl. Jason Redifer, 19, U.S.M.C., Stuarts Draft, VA. Operation Iraqi Freedom. Killed in action in Iraq on January 31, 2005. Jason joined the Marines as a direct result of 9/11 because he didn't want terrorism coming to this country and threatening his two younger brothers. He was a remarkable young man, outgoing and a friend to all, a Valley cowboy who grew up on a farm in Stuarts Draft. He once rode his horse through the Arby's drive-thru! His winning personality won him many friends at school and elsewhere. He was killed by an IED just one day after the first successful free elections in Iraq's history ... he was able to see the excitement of the Iraqi people as they voted and then proudly displayed their purple-stained fingers.

- Lance Cpl. Daniel Bubb, 19, U.S.M.C., Grottoes, VA. Operation Iraqi Freedom. Killed in action in Iraq October 17, 2005, when he was shot during battle. A graduate of Ft. Defiance High School, he was outgoing and friendly ... and worked as a guide at the Grand Caverns in Grottoes. He is remembered fondly by the friends and family he left behind.

- Raymond Wilbur Randall, U.S. Navy. World War II veteran. My dad; passed away in 1975 at the age of 51. He was stationed on the USS Wisconsin which is now docked at Norfolk, and served in the South Pacific during WW II. Part of the greatest generation; they got it as far as keeping America safe.

In HONOR of my American heroes on 9/11 ...

- SSgt. Herb Harman, 45, U.S. Army Reserve, currently serving in Baghdad, Iraq - my "radical, conservative Republican." He is from Churchville, VA, and is one of the Precinct Captains in my Magisterial District. He rejoined the Army Reserve after 9/11 because he saw what had happened to our Nation, and served a year at Guantanamo Bay before being deployed to Iraq. He was recently home for two weeks and surprised us all at the Augusta County Fair by showing up at the Republican booth unannounced. What a wonderful surprise!

- Lance Cpl. Nate Salatin, 21, U.S.M.C. From Swoope, VA, he deploys Sunday for Iraq with his Marine unit. Nate was one of the teens from my teen group, a natural leader, State President of Virginia 4-H his senior year in high school, and a member of the award-winning Home School Envirothon Team that won 2nd place in the national competition in 2004. After graduating from high school he went through basic training at Camp Lejeune, then entered Virginia Military Institute where he completed his freshman year (2005-06) before his Unit was activated this past June. Nate is representative of today's young conservative youth who feel called to service for this country.

- Sgt. Justin Redifer, 22, U.S. Army. Justin is Jason Redifer's older brother who lives in West Virginia with his wife and baby daughter.

- Sgt. Marcus Averill, 28, U.S. Army. Marcus' mom is Trixie Averill, GOP activist and Allen Western Field Coordinator. This is Marcus' third deployment to Iraq. I had the pleasure of finally meeting him when he was home in July, and what a pleasant young man he was! He has been accepted into Army Ranger School when he returns home in November.

- Rhonda and Scott Winfield, parents of Jason Redifer. They gave the ultimate sacrifice ... their child ... for our freedom. Knowing Rhonda is to know Jason. She has a fortitude and determination that doesn't quit. She is patriotic, outgoing, and funny! But she's also introspective and has been wounded way beyond anything most of us will ever know. She and Scott have my upmost admiration, love, respect, and gratefulness.

Thank you to President George W. Bush for his steady leadership in keeping us safe from Muslim terrorists.Thanks, also, to Senator George Allen, Senator John Warner, and Congressman Bob Goodlatte for standing with the President in the War on Terrorism.They all get it and understand the urgency of fighting terrorists on their own soil to keep them away from ours.

And thank you to all our military - Current Active Enlisted, Reserves, Veterans, and their families - and to our homeland security forces including police, firefighters, EMTs, and others who are the front line of defense during a disaster.

"The enemies of liberty and our country should make no mistake. America remains engaged in the world, by history and by choice, shaping a balance of power that favors freedom. We will defend our allies and our interests. We will show purpose without arrogance. We will meet aggression and bad faith with resolve and strength. And to all nations, we will speak for the values that gave our nation birth." - President George W. Bush, 2001

9/11: We will never forget. May God bless America!

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