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Boots On the Ground

A friend of my father’s, a very successful business woman in her forties, joined the Peace Corps. She is now serving on an island in Micronesia. She left the following letter at the American embassy yesterday:

    September 11, 2003

    I was affected by the events of September 11, 2001, not because I was on the 72nd floor of the World Trade’s South Tower. Nor because I had a brother, assigned to the firefighter, who tried to reach the burning floors above him before the tower collapsed. Nor because I had a dear friend on the flight that crashed in the green fields of Pennsylvania. Nor was I affected because a follow soldier died while standing guard at the Pentagon. The impact of September 11, 2001 did not touch my life in this way.

    September 11, 2001, on a day beneath clear blue skies, I knew my life would never be the same. I did not know how it would change, or understand why it would change or when it would change, but I knew that who I was, what I did and what I believed was lost to a time we now call “before September 11th.”

    I hiked through the woods that afternoon under a sky without jet trails. I was angry and full of hate. Hate directed specifically at one and targeted at others of a religion that shared many common beliefs as mine. I never felt like that before. I was alone, disconnected from the rest of the world. There was not a single soul in the world who knew where I was. There was no one looking for me on that chaotic day. My world changed and so did I.

    I am an American from a place that is hated and loved. A land often despised yet, desired. A nation often self-serving yet, generous. A people judged but often misunderstood. I will not apologize for being an American, for my country’s actions or for my beliefs and those things I value.

    September 11, 2001 reconnected me with the rest of the world. I am here today, a member of the Peace Corps community because I am not ashamed of being an American. I will not cower when what I love is threatened. I will share what I believe is good about my home. I don’t think this was the intent of the cowards who attacked my country and made me stronger.

About Eric Olsen

Career media professional and serial entrepreneur Eric Olsen flung himself into the paranormal world in 2012, creating the America's Most Haunted brand and co-authoring the award-winning America's Most Haunted book, published by Berkley/Penguin in Sept, 2014. Olsen is co-host of the nationally syndicated broadcast and Internet radio talk show After Hours AM; his entertaining and informative America's Most Haunted website and social media outlets are must-reads: Twitter@amhaunted, Facebook.com/amhaunted, Pinterest America's Most Haunted. Olsen is also guitarist/singer for popular and wildly eclectic Cleveland cover band The Props.

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