It’s incredibly sad to me that I wrote this post long ago, and yet now with the election from hell, we are even worse off. Still can’t believe this is our country…
The news last week about the US Congresswoman from Arizona and those around her who were shot by a mad man is weighing me down. I watched on TV the speech by President Obama at the memorial service. Six people died, one a child, all innocent people whose only mistake was to be in that ‘wrong’ place. Innocent people who wanted to hear what a duly elected official, exercising her freedom of speech and assembly, had to say. President Obama spoke magnificently about the tragedy, doing honor to those who were killed and those who helped save. He said we need to be the kind of world that that child thought we were and expected us to be. He spoke profoundly and made me proud he is our president.
It goes beyond irony that the child who died was born on September 11, 2001. Is there any doubt the killer is mad? How could he do such a thing if he were not? That may mean that the suicide bombers of the past decades, the terrorists of today’s world, kamikaze pilots of yesterday, are all mad too. Are they? Or are we living in a world where violence has been elevated to a political art form? Where it’s just a matter of creating the right language, the most vitriolic propaganda, and finding charismatic leaders to deliver the hatred to an ignorant and brainwashed population. I believe this is happening now in our country with the Tea Party. I fear that the Tea Party has identified such methods to suit their purposes which are to incite fear and violence. They are using the imagery of guns, shooting, and targets to deliver their messages. Once the message is out, all it takes is a mentally unbalanced person to act on it.
I don’t use the word shame very often, but I say shame on the Tea Party for not acknowledging that she is part of the problem, perhaps a very large and important part. Shame on our country for allowing anyone to get a gun and ammunition, with so little control that children are shooting children regularly. Where fathers videotape their own children shooting semi automatic weapons, and in one recent case, watching as the child blows his own head off. Where the word ‘liberal’ is used as an invective and encouragement to put a politician in the ‘crosshairs’. Where this rhetoric is defiantly supported by Tea Party and yes, some Republican party members too, as merely symbolic. IT ISN’T SYMBOLIC, IT’S INCITING VIOLENCE.
Language hurts. And violence is real. What about that don’t you get?
This is a passage from my book PERSEPHONE IN HELL. Glory’s father, Herb, has had a stroke and has weakened significantly in every way. Glory is an immature and troubled teen; she has stopped respecting her father. She knows only the bare bones about his past, that he’d served as a medic on the beach of Normandy on D Day and received a lot of medals. She couldn’t know his long remembered despair.
“Herb endured a long period of surgeries and recuperation to restore his health. He was awarded many medals of honor from the army. He received among others, a Purple Heart, a Bronze Star, and a Silver Star for his bravery. There was only one higher medal that could have been bestowed. Herb was a war hero among war heroes.
But all he could think of were the men he hadn’t saved. A real hero would have gone out again. A real man would have risked his life to save a good kid like Carl, a buddy like Max. They were his men, truly his real family, and you do for your family.
He took his box of medals home. He showed them to his Mama and Pop, who were proud of him and overjoyed to have him home. He showed them to his favorite sister Miriam, and to all his brothers and sisters. He showed them to Joyce, his girl, who kissed him and agreed to marry him after a time.
Then Herb took his box of hard earned, well deserved medals of honor and stuck them in his dresser drawer. He never took them out again. He never, ever mentioned the war again in his life.”