People of my parents’ generation will never forget where they were when they first heard that John F. Kennedy had been shot. The generation before can still tell you about Pearl Harbor. My generation has September 11th. It’s enough.

I was at work that morning, and one piece of modern technology SmartDisk lacked at that point was a television antenna. We tried to keep up with things over the Internet, but it wasn’t easy. And all I could think about, that whole morning, is where exactly in New York City my Grandfather lives - I don’t know Manhattan that well. For all I knew, Poppa could’ve been in the building next door. I was scared.

I’m still scared today. Not so much for my own safety - Naples isn’t exactly a major target - but for those I care about who’ve made major cities their home. And for this country, if another major attack occurs. Other countries have rolled over in the face of a massive attack; would we do the same?

Not too long after September 11th, I had the chance to talk to my Grandfather about things, and I made the comment that I was glad we had George W. Bush in power to deal with these lunatics, that Gore would be more concerned with making friends with bin Laden than with shooting him in the head. Grandfather agreed with me at the time, as I recall.

He’s voting for Kerry in this election, and so are a great many others. I can understand why, because Kerry makes a seductive argument: why are we in Iraq, Kerry asks us, if Al Qaeda was the culprit? Why waste manpower taking out Saddam, if he didn’t sign the order that killed 2,867 Americans? The answer is that Saddam is dangerous, even if he’s never heard of Al Qaeda.

John Kerry frames the war on terror as an act of retribution, of punishment. He views it as a police action, catching a murderer and bringing him to justice. This is a shortsighted, foolhardy, and dangerous position. The war on terror is not a war on Osama bin Laden, it is a war on terrorists of all stripes, all allegiances. It is an ongoing preemptive action to protect the United States of America from terrorist attacks from any party on any vector.

If anyone put this to Kerry directly, he’d probably deny it. But actions speak louder than words, no matter how often, how well, or how eloquently those words are spoken. John Kerry wants to lead this country in a war of revenge focussed on a single sickly man. George W. Bush is leading this country in an ongoing mission to weaken, impair, and eliminate threats to this country before they achieve the critical mass necessary to kill thousands of us. I know to whom my vote will be going.