Here are some random thoughts and quotes about last week's devastation
in our country.
In the midst of our grief and pride and anger, we cannot let the
terrorists win. We will take care of our children, and go to work, and
get dinner, drive over the Mesa to see the colors and bake birthday
cakes for our friends. We want to get back to normal but we will have
to re-define normal. We will go on with the same behavior patterns,
but will see out with new eyes.
For 200 years we have been protected by two oceans. Nothing really bad
could hurt us on this continent. Now something bad has hurt us and we
have to face it and try to understand it and live with it. We have to
re-shift our focus.
I like to imagine that I am physically safe here in Grand Junction,
although I know better. But son John and his wife flew to London this
week, headed for a long planned two week vacation in Rome. Son Dave
flies over a thousand miles twice each week-end as he commutes to and
from his current contract commitment. They are not afraid, so I must
What I am afraid of is hatred and fear, the jump to blame, the instant
call for war on the part of so many American citizens. We need to find
and punish the group which caused this tragedy, of course, but we don't
need to kill thousands of innocent people while doing it.
These are the reactions of some of my friends.
Bert wrote: "At my mountain property I am often pissed off by those
noisy planes interrupting my peace and quiet. After Tuesday, I was like
a child when a plane finally flew over. 'Hey, there's one. Isn't it
great?' Back to normal -- never. Ahead to a different normal -- Yes.
Terry said: "The flags are waving, including one at my house. But I
feel sure that what my flag means to me is not the same as what it means
to people who march behind it to desecrate a mosque. I refuse to take my
flag down because some people use it to justify injustice. The stars and
stripes are a symbol that is too important to allow just one
interpretation to define it."
Son John: "Your column last week was good, but will you write the same
one six months from now when our civil liberties are being threatened?"
Son Dave: "Of course I'll go on flying. Life is a risk. If the plane
goes down, so be it."
Don Self, pastor Koinonia Church: "We have a choice at this time. We
can fold into ourselves as communities and families in a protective
stance, covering ourselves with a protective shell so that we no longer
feel the pain of our grief. Or we can, as we recover from our shock,
open our doors and our arms wide to those in our community who are
struggling. We can be the light on the hill, the beacon of peace, the
salt of the earth that lends flavor to our place in the world."
And finally, from people I know only by what they write. Gary Hart,
co-chair of bi-partisan U. S. Commission on National Security/21st
century: "Terrorism falls in the gray area between war and crime. Our
options are limited...It will take a sustained global effort and a level
of understanding that goes beyond flags and sound bites...If there is to
be a greatest generation for the 21st century, it will have to find
another way to end this war."
Maureen Dowd gets the last word; "Remember the Trojan horse? Speaking
to Senators last week Mr. Bush asked, What's the sense of sending a
$2million missile to hit a $10 tent and a camel in the keister? One
might ask, What's the sense of rushing to create a $60 billion defense
shield against a Trojan horse?"