Monday, September 11, 2006

9/11- Random thoughts

I wanted to ignore the 5 year anniversary of 9/11. Not that I believe we should forget about it. Our country, our world must never forget that terrible morning on that beautiful sunny day in September, 5 years ago.

It's just that media uses days like this as a media event. They tell the story from every angle. It is the story of the day or week, however long they can stretch it. It's another much like the Jon Benet story, except this time it is about that day in September. The Path to 9/11, 9/11: the Day That Changed America, Witnessing: A Democracy of Photographs, all shows to remember September 11, 2001. I am on overload and I'm not watching these stories.

My son was alive back then, 5 years ago. He was a senior in college, studying Military Science and International Relations in Tennessee. He was due to graduate and be commissioned as an officer in the US Army the following May. Ken called me that morning immediately after the first plane hit. We watched together in horror as the 2nd plane hit the 2nd tower. I couldn't process that 2nd act of horror. Ken assured me it was what it was, another plane hitting another tower. We were 1500 miles away, but we shared that moment together. Families should be together on days like this.

After Ken was killed in May 2004, I found an entry in his journal. On September 12, 2001, Ken wrote this:

Terror came to this nation on the 11th. The question of how runs through the mind of many and shock set in as we watch with horror the events unfolding before us. Anger fills many hearts and minds. Once that anger is focused, God help us then. The nation wants blood, but do they understand that in spilling their blood, ours will flow too? When this war does start, I should be back on the front lines. I really hope that I will make the right choices and keep those people under me alive.

My son was 24 years old when he wrote that. He was right, of course. about a lot of that entry. He knew that American blood would spill, he was on the front lines and he did make the right choices to keep those people under him alive. There is no doubt that 9/11 was a turning point in our lives as this administration found these attacks 5 years ago to be just the right reason to invade Afghanistan and then Iraq. Who will be next?

I worry about the soul of this country on days like today. There is so little hope. There are haves and have lesses and have nothings and this administration doesn't care about anyone except the have mores. Name calling is rampant. If you aren't with us; you're against us and I'm not talking about the terrorists. Red state, blue state, sometimes purple, but always divided. The president says we must put aside our differences to fight his glorious war. He paints a somber picture of this world and this struggle for civilization and he tells us that the war against this enemy is more than a military conflict. It is the decisive ideological struggle of the 21st century, and the calling of our generation. He invokes the memory of those terrible battles in WWI & WWII and Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman. But there is no comparison to this war, his war and wars past. And there will never be a comparison to our 43rd president and Roosevelt and Truman.

This image of the world Bush is trying to convey is frightening. But if it is so, then why are not ALL Americans called to fight this battle and to make sacrifices? It is the military that serve their country and die or are wounded doing so. It is the families who hold down the home front. It is insulting when the president or anyone else reminds us that "every one of our troops is a volunteer" And that means what? That they can do with them what they want without regard to their mental status or personal safety? Their physical status? The condition of their families after multiple deployments? That they can send them off to war and cut their benefits when they return? We owe these families and our military members for the rest of their lives. Maybe it's time to bring back the draft with NO exemptions, that means women and gays- mandatory and oh, so equal opportunity. It means no deferrments for college (did ya hear that Mr Cheney? NONE!)

I wasn't trying to make this political, but the president sure did when he spoke to the nation this evening . He connected the dots of Iraq & 9/11 even though he has recently admitted that there was none. Tonite he said the regime of Saddam Hussein was a clear threat that posed a risk that the world could not afford to take. I just wish he would make up his mind. I'd kind of like to know the reason my son and 2670 others have died while serving their country in Iraq? I'm pretty sure that the people of Iraq would like to know what circumstances had gotten their country into such dire danger.

These little speeches or pep talks are just a run up to the elections. Scare the crap out of people and they'll vote Republican because they are big on terrorist fighting, so they'd have us believe, but I don't believe it now anymore than I did before 9/11. The current crop of Republicans and some Democrats are a bunch of thugs holding our country hostage. Where is the hope that America once stood for? Where are our freedoms?

I want my country back.

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