Thursday, July 26, 2007
How Do You Remember
We’ve been remembering and revering fallen, endangered or ill people for quite some time now—so long that most of us have lost track of who started it all.
We have felt the need to mark graves—a kind of Kilroy was here—for ages. Heck, I’ve even seen R. I. P. (dearly departed relative or pet) car memorials, often on the most pimped out of vehicles.
Songs have been written. Two come to mind: Tie a Yellow Ribbon ‘Round the Ole Oak Tree and She Wore a Yellow Ribbon.
Speaking of yellow, the yellow ribbon magnets slapped on cars that were all the rage at the start of the Iraqi war are noticeably fewer in number these days. While we still support the troops, we just aren’t so sure we need to show it anymore now that it’s safe to disagree with the Bush administration. Even the republican senators are joining the opposition.
I have a pink ribbon or two and have sold products featuring the ribbon so ubiquitously identified with the disease I’d sooner forget. Lance Armstrong’s plastic Live Strong bracelets are a favorite presidential candidate accessory.
But, the other day my daughter-in-law forwarded a story from NPR about a couple from Kansas City who had simply planted American flags on their lawn—one for each of the U. S. soldiers killed since we got into Bush’s War. The couple didn’t appear to be loud or obnoxious like some war protestors cut of the Cindy Sheehan cloth. They were just sad. It was a stark and powerful statement.
Sadly, it’s taken many months and many lives, for many Americans to come to the conclusion that this war and what the administration says it is striving to do, just isn’t wanted by many Iraqis. American-style freedom isn’t the panacea it’s cracked up to be. I love my freedoms. I love my country. I don’t expect the world to discard ancient and traditional ways just because a U. S. president thinks his way is the way to go. I do expect other countries and their citizens to leave me and my family the hell alone when I’m minding my own business.
Maybe, just maybe, we should leave the Iraqis alone. That is if we can wind the clock back to the time before all hell broke loose.