The Day Everything Changed

September 11 was a turning point in my life. I had held top national security positions in the Nixon, Ford and Reagan administrations and spent my entire career as a cold warrior. I left government and public life when we won the Cold War and became a stay at home mom. For years, I cared more about who ran for Class Mother then who ran for Congress.

I sewed Halloween costumes, taught Sunday School and watched countless soccer, football, hockey, basketball, tennis, horseback riding and crew games and races. I figured my professional days were done, and I would spend the rest of my days as a wife, mother, and doting grandmother.

But I was downtown on September 11, going to a hat sale of all things, after voting in the New York mayoral primary. I was on a crosstown bus and looked up to see the first tower get hit. Once the second tower was struck I realized it was probably terrorists and the beginning of a new era of crisis for my country. And I vowed, that day, to do whatever I could to help.

I dusted off my resume and resumed my career. I reentered politics and public life, reengaged in the national security debate and today am a fierce advocate for rebuilding America's defenses, intelligence services and security.

As corny as it sounds, I love my country and will do whatever I can 'til my dying day to defend her.

Kathleen Troia "K.T." McFarland served in national security posts in the Nixon, Ford and Reagan Administrations. She is a Senior Advisor to the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, and the author of DEFCON-3 by KT, a FOX video blog.