Craig Miller. I made a vow to remember him. If you’re reading this, indulge me and say his name out loud. You can see his name carved in cold stone at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. And despite COVID, millions of Americans go to the site where the Twin Towers fell. They can see his name, but they never had a chance to know the man, which is their loss. And there are so many names, real people, lives cut short by one of the one of the most despicable acts of terrorism in the history of the world.
Two decades ago, Craig was on site at World Trade Center, doing his job. He was a uniformed Secret Service officer, a First Gulf War veteran with a Bronze Star, a trained medic and a truly decent man. There was no way he was going to stand by when he could help. So he did, and his selfless act cost him his life.
Craig had worked at the NRA Range in Fairfax, Va., and his wife, Holly, was my editorial assistant at the time. A fabulous, competent, sweet lady who could field calls from even the most cantankerous of NRA members. I’m pretty sure she could’ve been a hostage negotiator.
But Craig was more than just a Secret Service officer, more than just a gun guy and an NRA member. He was a father. His twin sons were not even a year old. And the stepsons that looked up to him would never get to see him again.
It’s hard to believe it was two decades ago. The attack on 9/11 found me in Idaho in a hunting camp that was far away from the flame and smoke of the Pentagon. Far away from a Manhattan landscape that was forever changed. Far away from a field in Pennsylvania, where an even worse catastrophe was stopped by brave Americans who said simply, “Let’s roll.”
I had friends at two of the places hit by the terrorists that day. I had friends that donned their National Guard uniforms and worked on the “Pile” in New York. And I had friends that put on their uniforms and boarded transports to go and bring stability to the most unstable of places and justice to evildoers.
I had friends, like the indomitable Greg Stube who almost lost his life as a Green Beret during Operation Medusa, sacrifice their bodies and even their lives to make sure that what happened to Craig Miller doesn’t happen to another American merely going about the course of his or her day.
Throughout the two-decade conflict, there have been many NRA members and friends involved in every step. From some of the first Green Berets on the ground in Afghanistan, to Navy SEAL NRA Life members who ended the unspeakable evil that was Osama bin Laden, members of the NRA family have been there. They have served, and they have sacrificed. They should not only have my thanks but yours. Tell them how much you appreciate all that they've done, and when COVID subsides, look them in the eyes, shake their hands and give them a heartfelt thank you.
I can’t do that for Craig Miller. I can’t do that for Walter Weaver of the NYPD. But I can remember them. I can pass by Walter’s scorched and twisted back-up gun, a Smith & Wesson J-Frame revolver, a touchpoint to an NRA member I never had the opportunity to meet, every time I go through the NRA National Firearms Museum and say his name out loud and tell him thank you. Craig and Walter were members of our family, the NRA family. We cannot and shall not forget them.