…where I intended to go to sleep but couldn’t. Things nagging at me. I was, up until a couple of days ago in a group on Facebook, specifically designed for life survivors. I had a number of friends there who kept asking me to write, so I did. Things went well, if a bit like a pendulum… traversing from ‘OMG the world is a terrible terrible place’ to ‘Look, fluffy bunnies!!’
A bit much but seemed worthwhile.
Till a few days ago. The Westboro Baptist Church, also known as Fred Phelps and his family and they are known for picketing funerals, originally of gays, but now also any serviceman. Someone gave a big ‘WOOT’ out to a small town in Mississippi. Why? Because when WBC showed up someone at a gas station ‘stood up to them and gave them a whooping’. Because you know nothing proves you are right and morally superior than beating the shit out of someone who is smaller than you. And isn’t going to fight back. Yeah, that’s the moral high ground.
When I pointed out this dichotomy the poster finally agreed but kept going on about the film included with the article which showed mile after mile of people waving for a dead soldier…
No. Just no. Where were those people when a single mother died of cancer while trying to keep her kids together? Where were the miles of mourners? Or when a gay son died of AIDS in the 80’s? Or hey, when a person was beaten IN THEIR OWN TOWN for trying to vote…. and being the wrong skin color?
This was a soldier. There are inherent risks in that job. Rule # 1 of war… soldiers die. It is expected that when you shoot bullets at people they tend to shoot back, and some of those bullets tend to find their target. Did the mother expect to die for being a mom? no. Should she have? no. Should the gay son have expected to die? no. Should the soldier, their family and friends? Yes. It goes with the job.
Is this just glibness? No. Been there done that. In 1976 I served in Korea at Pan Mun Jom. Our lives were on the line. Easy gig except when you know the ‘other side’ is 50′ away. And then this happened…. Axe murder incident
Those were my officers. So you can figure where that would have put me. It is a risk you take. Should the soldier’s family been shown respect? Yes. But so should have the other families that lost loved ones.
Then yesterday. In an assault we finally located and killed Osama Bin Laden. Good. perhaps. We’ll (as a nation) see. Either way, I can not agree with waving flags and cheering the death of a man…. ANY MAN.
No good way to put this…. Have you ever watched a man die? Watched someone you shot as they died? Knowing you were the reason? Unless you are a sociopath, that effects you. You don’t cheer. No flag waving. A life is ended. Doesn’t matter how ‘evil’ they were, they died. And you know what? Tomorrow there will be 20 more to take his place. Because now we made him a martyr. So that smug flag waving, yelling out loud security you feel? Enjoy it. it’s not going to last. At least not ….
…… to there.