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Monday, September 13, 2004

The Day. Still.

Never to be forgotten.

It still hits me, every year. This time, it was the sight of a folded flag in the hands of a Notre Dame band member in full kilt, marched across the football field. A small detail, the triangular flag, but seen at every funeral for the hundreds of police officers and firemen, nearly three years ago today. It still wounds.

I don't have much to add to last year's reflection. Except that they continue to happen, other nations the world over now have their Days--from Bali to Madrid to, most horrifically, Russian Ossetia, where the bastards decided schoolchildren were sufficiently daunting foes. Pieta. Proving once again, the shahids are not students of history--the Rodina is known for much, but proportional responses and concerns about civilian casualties are not the hallmarks of the Russian Steamroller. Shock and awe in Moskva come with endless kilograms of rock salt for the planting.

And--lest we forget--beleaguered Israel has a Day about every month. And, always, always--the world over--the strikes are against those unable to fight back. The innocent, the vulnerable, the unsuspecting. Toddlers, like my daughter and son.

Meanwhile, for our various media, the only war being mentioned is Vietnam, and the only records worth discussing are those of the candidates from thirty odd years back. Interesting.

Does this ring any damned bells? Maybe not, given that there is a virtual embargo on 9/11 images these days. The only, only war that merits discussion is the one we are in, right now, and the only records that count are those that bear on this war, right now.

Discussing Vietnam during this election is the very definition of "idiotic." The closest analogy I can come up with would be a hypothetical 1940 British election wherein the media powers that be decided that the real issue was Churchill's conduct during the Charge at Omdurman in 1898. [Trust me--I don't regard either candidate as worthy of comparison with Sir Winston right now, though you can probably guess which one I think comes closer.]

The killers are still out there. It would be nice if we could remember that, three years later.

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