On Monday we emailed jokes
On Tuesday we did not
On Monday we thought that we were secure
On Tuesday we learned better
On Monday we were talking about heroes as being athletes
On Tuesday we relearned who our heroes are
On Monday we were irritated that our rebate checks had not arrived
On Tuesday we gave money away to people we had never met
On Monday there were people fighting against praying in schools
On Tuesday you would have been hard pressed to find a school where someone was not praying
On Monday people argued with their kids about picking up their room
On Tuesday the same people could not get home fast enough to hug their kids
On Monday people were upset that they had to wait 6 minutes in a fast food drive through line.
On Tuesday people didn't care about waiting up to 6 hours to give blood for the dying
On Monday we waved our flags signifying our cultural diversity
On Tuesday we waved only the American flag
On Monday there were people trying to separate each other by race, sex, color and creed
On Tuesday they were all holding hands
On Monday we men or women, black or white, old or young, rich or poor, gay or straight, Christian or non-Christian.
On Tuesday we were Americans
On Monday politicians argued about budget surpluses
On Tuesday grief stricken they sang 'God Bless America'
On Monday the President was going to Florida to read to children
On Tuesday he returned to Washington to protect our children
On Monday we had families
On Tuesday we had orphans
On Monday people went to work as usual
On Tuesday they died
It is sadly ironic how it takes horrific events to place things into
perspective, but it has. The lessons learned this week, the things
we have taken for granted, the things that have been forgotten
or overlooked, hopefully will never be forgotten again.
An Old Fighter Pilot's Thoughts
It is going to take quite a bit of thinking about the new and upcoming methods employed by our military, intelligence, economic, diplomatic, banking, electronic, etc communities to ferret out, isolate, exterminate.
Just think if we could immediately find, freeze, seize all of bin Laden's finances. That would shut him and his people down faster than merely killing him. Not to mention jamming all his commo. Speaking of that, Lucent says they can locate shutdown cell phones.
A thought about today's fighter pilots: they now have to be prepared to shoot down civilian planes. I'll bet commanders are having some extremely serious briefings about that with their pilots. Some pilots may just have to hand in their wings. Helluva tough call.
Two thoughts occur to me: If I were the trigger puller against an airliner that was assuredly terrorist controlled I could do it but I think it would be the last time I could ever fly. I would live but the pipper picture would always be on my mind. (Imagine knowing your wife or child were on board.) I would much rather be on board personally fighting knowing I would die.
Hit The Buildings, Missed America. . . .
An open letter to a terrorist:
Well, you hit the World Trade Center, but you missed America. You hit the Pentagon, but you missed America. You used helpless American bodies, to take out other American bodies, but like a poor marksman, you STILL missed America.
Why? Because of something you guys will never understand. America isn't about a building or two, not about financial centers, not about military centers, America isn't about a place, America isn't even about a bunch of bodies. America is about an IDEA. An idea, that you can go someplace where you can earn as much as you can figure out how to, live for the most part, like you envisioned living, and pursue Happiness. (No guarantees that you'll reach it, but you can sure try!)
Go ahead and whine your terrorist whine, and chant your terrorist litany: "If you can not see my point, then feel my pain." This concept is alien to Americans. We live in a country where we don't have to see your point. But you're free to have one. We don't have to listen to your speech. But you're free to say one. Don't know where you got the strange idea that everyone has to agree with you. We don't agree with each other in this country, almost as a matter of pride. We're a collection of guys that don't agree, called States. We united our individual states to protect ourselves from tyranny in the world. Another idea, we made up on the spot. You CAN make it up as you go, when it's your country.
If you're free enough.
Yeah, we're fat, sloppy, easy-going goofs most of the time. That's an unfortunate image to project to the world, but it comes of feeling free and easy about the world you live in. It's unfortunate too, because people start to forget that when you attack Americans, they tend to fight like a cornered badger. The first we knew of the War of 1812, was when England burned Washington D.C. to the ground. Didn't turn out like England thought it was going to, and it's not going to turn out like you think, either. Sorry, but you're not the first bully on our shores, just the most recent.
No Marquis of Queensbury rules for Americans, either. We were the FIRST and so far, only country in the world to use nuclear weapons in anger. Horrific idea, nowadays? News for you bucko, it was back then too, but we used it anyway. Only had two of them in the whole world and we used 'em both. Grandpa Jones worked on the Manhattan Project. Told me once, that right up until they threw the switch, the physicists were still arguing over whether the Uranium alone would fission, or whether it would start a fissioning chain reaction that would eat everything. But they threw the switch anyway, because we had a War to win. Does that tell you something about American Resolve?
So who just declared War on us? It would be nice to point to some real estate, like the good old days. Unfortunately, we're probably at war with random camps, in far-flung places. Who think they're safe. Just like the Barbary Pirates did, IIRC. Better start sleeping with one eye open.
There's a spirit that tends to take over people who come to this country, looking for opportunity, looking for liberty, looking for freedom. Even if they misuse it. The Marielistas that Castro emptied out of his prisons, were overjoyed to find out how much freedom there was. First thing they did when they hit our shores, was run out and buy guns. The ones that didn't end up dead, ended up in prisons. It was a big PITA then (especially in south Florida), but you're only the newest PITA, not the first.
You guys seem to be incapable of understanding that we don't live in America, America lives in US! American Spirit is what it's called. And killing a few thousand of us, or a few million of us, won't change it. Most of the time, it's a pretty happy-go- lucky kind of Spirit. Until we're crossed in a cowardly manner, then it becomes an entirely different kind of Spirit.
Wait until you see what we do with that Spirit, this time.
Sleep tight, if you can. We're coming.
YNCS Don Harribine, USN(Ret)
The Deeper Wound
by Deepak Chopra
As fate would have it, I was leaving New York on a jet flight that took off 45 minutes before the unthinkable happened. By the time we landed in Detroit, chaos had broken out. When I grasped the fact that American security had broken down so tragically, I couldn't respond at first. My wife and son were also in the air on separate flights, one to Los Angeles, one to San Diego. My body went absolutely rigid with fear. All I could think about was their safety, and it took several hours before I found out that their flights had been diverted and both were safe.
Strangely, when the good news came, my body still felt that it had been hit by a truck. Of its own accord it seemed to feel a far greater trauma that reached out to the thousands who would not survive and the tens of thousands who would survive only to live through months and years of hell. And I asked myself, Why didn't I feel this way last week? Why didn't my body go stiff during the bombing of Iraq or Bosnia?
Around the world my horror and worry are experienced every day. Mothers weep over horrendous loss, civilians are bombed mercilessly, refugees are ripped from any sense of home or homeland. Why did I not feel their anguish enough to call a halt to it? As we hear the calls for tightened American security and a fierce military response to terrorism, it is obvious that none of us has any answers.
However, we feel compelled to ask some questions. Everything has a cause, so we have to ask, What was the root cause of this evil? We must find out not superficially but at the deepest level. There is no doubt that such evil is alive all around the world and is even celebrated.
Does this evil grow from the suffering and anguish felt by people we don't know and therefore ignore? Have they lived in this condition for a long time?
One assumes that whoever did this attack feels implacable hatred for America. Why were we selected to be the focus of suffering around the world? All this hatred and anguish seems to have religion at its basis. Isn't something terribly wrong when jihads and wars develop in the name of God? Isn't God invoked with hatred in Ireland, Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Israel, Palestine, and even among the intolerant sects of America?
Can any military response make the slightest difference in the underlying cause? Is there not a deep wound at the heart of humanity? If there is a deep wound, doesn't it affect everyone?
When generations of suffering respond with bombs, suicidal attacks, and biological warfare, who first developed these weapons? Who sells them? Who gave birth to the satanic technologies now being turned against us? If all of us are wounded, will revenge work? Will punishment in any form toward anyone solve the wound or aggravate it? Will an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, and limb for a limb, leave us all blind, toothless and crippled?
Tribal warfare has been going on for two thousand years and has now been magnified globally. Can tribal warfare be brought to an end? Is patriotism and nationalism even relevant anymore, or is this another form of tribalism? What are you and I as persons going to do about what is happening? Can we afford to let the deeper wound fester any longer?
Everyone is calling this an attack on America, but is it not a rift in our collective soul? Isn't this an attack on civilization from without that is also from within?
When we have secured our safety once more and cared for the wounded, after the period of shock and mourning is over, it will be time for soul searching. I only hope that these questions are confronted with the deepest spiritual intent. None of us will feel safe again behind the shield of military might and stockpiled arsenals. There can be no safety until the root cause is faced. In this moment of shock I don't think anyone of us has the answers. It is imperative that we pray and offer solace and help to each other.
But if you and I are having a single thought of violence or hatred against anyone in the world at this moment, we are contributing to the wounding of the world.