Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The singing of crickets (& other ramblings)

This is a complete re-do. I had the 4th Hublog almost completed, on a totally different subject, when I realized what I was about to do. Like a lot of Americans, I almost let the anniversary of 9-11 slide right by, unremembered. How stupid. How self-absorbed. How sad. A chance click of my TV remote saved me.

The man talking was a reporter. He was among the first to begin to document the devastation at ground zero. He said the first thing that he noticed was this loud, incessant singing of what seemed to be thousands of crickets. In the middle of the Manhattan financial district. Finally, one of the rescue personnel told him what he was hearing. Every NYC firefighter and policeman carries a body locator. Apparently, movement keeps it from going off and after a set number of hours of no movement, the alarm goes off. What he was hearing was hundreds of death notices. Death notices for the people who went into those burning buildings to save others.

The lady being interviewed was crying quietly. She had been descending the stairs in the second tower, just moments after the first tower collapsed. On her way down, she said she met dozens of NYC firemen, policemen and port authority officers headed up. She said her original intent was to avoid eye contact with them, as the fact she was headed down to safety while they headed up made her uncomfortable. But like the person watching the proverbial trainwreck, she could not avoid locking gazes with everybody she passed. What she saw amazed her. The officers were grim-faced and concerned but moving rapidly up the stairs. She did not see a single face with fear written on it. Something else was showing itself in their eyes. Every single man and woman she looked at knew exactly where they were headed and exactly what it meant. Not one person slipped away, not one turned and ran. Who were these people who climbed so willingly to their own day of reckoning? Mad, mindless, indoctrinated robots? No. They were ordinary Americans put into extraordinary circumstances. People who had come to believe, to paraphrase General Douglas MacArthur, "the three greatest words in the English language are duty, honor, country."

A lot of people in this country think this is outdated, silly cornball--that patriotism is an idea whose time has passed. I'm not one of them. Boy, am I not one of them. This country, this nation needs to be loved, protected and preserved now more than at any time in our history. Oddly enough, I'm not really that worried about our many enemies. Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, fanatics with suitcase nukes--they don't scare me much. The thing I fear most is.....us. The 'hate-America' crowd, the 'America-is-behind-everything-bad' clique, the Bill Mahers and the Michael Moores of the world; that's the folks I worry about. For every one house destroyed by fire or tornado, 10,000 decay from within. We have a lot of rot in our foundation.

I never cease to be amazed at the blind hatred aimed at America and her people. Ugly Americans. Arrogant America. Bully America. Kill everyone for a barrel of oil America. Well, you bums left out a few Americas. How about the fight the free world's battles for 200 years America? How about the feed the world America? Where's the saved the world from tyranny (repeatedly) America? How about the America funds and defends my country's very existence America? Where's the hundreds of thousands of young Americans died on my soil keeping me free America? Who do you think is walking freedom's perimeter? Here's a hint. It ain't the French. The Belgians are on vacation. All the Saudis are at a sand convention. Hey! It's us! Alone. A-M-E-R-I-C-A. Those ugly, arrogant, oil greedy bullies. Americans.

What do I expect from these people? Not much. A little respect would be nice. The benefit of the doubt once in a while would be appreciated. How about just the slightest hint of a little gratitude. Would that be too much to ask? Don't hold your breath.

Let's get one thing straight. These idiots don't owe me a thing--nothing. I never served in the U.S. Armed Forces. But there are Americans that they do owe. As long as a single member of our Greatest Generation is alive, kindly shut the hell up. The men and women who won World War II were heroes who fought and died in countries all over the world to save your sorry butts, and in return you spit on our flag and the people it represents. The Lord and Master of all things has a long, unbroken history of making both men and nations grateful for the gifts they have been given. If I were one of these ungrateful, memory-impaired nations, I'd be looking over my shoulder. Who knows? Maybe next time the crickets will be singing in the smoking ruins of your cities. Think about it.

The Old Gray Lion