Patriot Day is always strange to me. Even the name seems off. The word “patriot” is a strong, courageous word, so I get it. It’s just…this isn’t a holiday. It’s isn’t an observance of a blessed event. It almost feels like it should be akin to Lent in the sense of fasting and abstinence; sackcloth and ashes, even. I’m seeing all the “Never Forget” posts on Facebook and I wonder: How on earth could we ever ever forget? I know we must have some sort of commemoration, but nothing seems right to me.
I really thought we’d feel safer by now, but today I don’t feel that. I’ll never alter my life to live in fear, but I wish we could obliterate this specter who hates us. Hell, I wish we could find the specter. Is it ISIS alone? Do we even know where all our enemies are? Last year, when I wrote about 9/11, I expressed a desire for all of us to choose peace, as if we could teach ISIS savages what “peace” means. They’re training their children to kill, maim, and follow in their barbaric footsteps. Looking back, my post from last year seems oversimplified and rosy compared to how I feel today. I even posted a Norman Rockwell painting, for cryin’ out loud. I still believe in what I wrote. I just…today I’m feeling doubtful. In a few weeks, my first grandbaby will be born. I want, for him, a happy world. I want to teach him to love, to forgive, to find joy, and to strive for justice. I also want to bomb the ever-livin’ piss out of anyone who threatens his world.
When the USA joined the Allies and went after the Axis, the entire country, every citizen, was of one accord. We got rid of Hitler and Mussolini. We showed Japan that we don’t take kindly to unprovoked violence and murder. Our troops came home and made babies. LOTS of babies. I wonder if we could rally every citizen to do that again? (The rallying part. Not so much the “making babies” part.) Will we help Iraq and Syria in the effort to battle ISIS or hamstring ourselves because they aren’t equipped to battle without us? Who are our allies in this effort? Would the civilians at home agree to ration our food and fuel for a war effort in order to obliterate the horror that is ISIS? I’m not sure everyone would. The American dollar is devaluing at an alarming pace and yet we’ve got people trolling Facebook to trade WIC items and food stamps for cash. Priorities, yo.
On the other hand, do we even need to get into this fight? This wouldn’t be the first time our government and the media goaded us into thinking that the United States of America is the Grand Equalizer of the planet and must step in to save the day. I mean, this is a religious war, at its core, and they have to want peace more than we want peace, ya know? (Hell, the US can’t even get our own Christians to agree on anything.) During the bloodiest time of the Reformation, Catholics and Protestants were burning folks at the stake and shoving shit down the throats of captives. (Not Fox News and CNN shit, y’all. Actual shit.) War, famine, and bubonic plague did away with a huge chunk of the population and the Protestants and Catholics who were left finally agreed to negotiate. The religious fanatics in the Middle East have shown no sign of ceasing their mission. Can we, the country that idolizes the Kardashians, really make a difference to that kind of zealousness? I’m afraid not.
I’m but one woman. One mom. One (almost) grandmother. Perhaps I’m in a funk today because uneasiness isn’t usually my norm. I dig peace in a big way but I feel like there’s another Holocaust happening and I’d like to stop it, at the very least, for this little guy: