Monday, September 11, 2006

Towering Posterity

"Posterity - You will never know how much it has cost my generation
for your freedom. I hope you make good use of it."

- John Quincy

I have been reading many of the 2996 tributes, penned by fellow bloggers, of 9/11 victims. The thing that stands out, in my mind, over this national day of mourning, is the cultural difference between the combatants, over the value of a citizen’s life. I know I did not volunteer to write an individual tribute. I suppose one of the reasons was 9/11 made me physically ill for months after it happened. I live in a state, where some of the hijackers found comfort and launched their attack; a state which has not learned the lesson delivered to us, by those who made all of the memorial tributes necessary.

We celebrate the lives of our citizens.

It is not hubris to ring bells and practice moments of silence. When we repeat the loving praises of citizens, who comprised a fateful rivulet, in the daily stream of civilized humanity, it is not a sin. It is not a troubling, selfish political calculation to memorialize citizens, who were savagely plucked from that stream, over and over again.

Every act of terror, is a terrorizing act, because it is directed at those who can be terrorized. It is not an honorable fight, in any state of desperation. It is bloody reality shock theater, designed to make people sick. It is an act, designed to shake the foundation of their optimism, courage, faith, determinism and sanity. Moral cost and consequence, are not included in the calculation of such an act.

It is not an equally uncivilized act, to track down and destroy the murderers of our citizens. Our deliberate and determined war on the terror masters is just another 9/11 tribute. It is a tribute to the value we place on every single one of those citizens, without regard to their level of contribution.

We love our citizens.

This is why many people are so desperate to come here. It is why so few voluntarily leave. It is why the faces of those tower victims graced the entire spectrum of civilized humanity. Every missing face is remembered, in pictures and with words, for years on end. Why do we suffer so little, in the face of an enemy who suffers so much? We love our citizens, more than we love theirs. We provide our citizens with freedom, power and security for the price of citizenship and willing participation. It is not an act of selfishness and moral ergonomics to embrace that gift. It was built for us, through blood, treasure, love and passion.

The enemy supposedly loves their God.They serve him raw meat at every occasion, both foreign and domestic. They coddle dead, stiff children, as stage props, before rolling cameras. They send children out, adorned with explosives and a head full of love for their god and hate for everyone else. They call it social oppression and desperation. American citizens, who love their country and value their people, would never resort to this level of desperation. The terrorists see their millennium dream of Islamic submission, by the conquered people of the free world, slipping from their fingers.

Any excuse to use, abuse, implement, discard and forget one of their own, can be justified before their god. The dead children of Jihad are not treasured, by the numerous ranks of the living. The children of Jihad, are not bound and embraced, by the love of citizens and country. The faces of the children of Jihad, quickly dissolve into statistical obscurity. They have to rely on the belief, that all of the love and comfort they seek, will be delivered in death, through a private audience with their god.

Cultural defeat is the true desperation they suffer from.

They have spent too much of their own worthless blood, as well as the expensive blood of American soldiers, American citizens, foreign soldiers and innocent bystanders, to venture anywhere but over the cliff.

There is another cultural defeat, which must be secured. That is the end of the culture of defeat, here at home. They celebrate death too. They throw people under the bus as well. That’s for another day.

Our love for our citizens, our refusal to forget them and our iron will to protect the lives of the living families they left behind, will be the instrument of that cultural defeat.

Tributes by friends:

Franco Romero Sr.
Sarah Khan
Kenneth John Cubas
Maria La Vache
Christina Donovan Flannery
Rev. Francis E. Grogan
Joao Alberto da Fonseca Aguiar Jr.



a4g said...

It was easy to sign up for 2996 Project... and almost instantly after pressing the submit button, "physically ill" is the exact right description of how I felt. I looked into the 26 year old face of Christina Donovan Flannery, a life that was destroyed by those who chose to feed from evil's ample well of hate, and I asked, "How can I counter this devastation? How can my words do justice to even just this one person?"

I can't say I enjoyed doing it-- nor am I particularly happy with the final result of my efforts-- but I am glad I did it.

And you nailed why, Insolu. We as Americans are animated by love, and respect, for one another. Liberty is enobling; when the only difference between you and your neighbor is who is the more determined, clever, and hardworking, it inspires you to do more than you believed was possible. Even in losing, you hate the loss but admire the victor-- and vow to beat him next time.

I was thinking the other day about the "best possible" outcome for the Battle of Iraq. My dream would be that we could foster a vibrant capitalist democracy-- and then proceed to out-compete them on every level. And the ferocity of the competetion would inspire them to greater heights, which would in turn challenge us.

It's not even the opposite of the Islamist ideal, it's of an entirely different order. It's the 90deg turn you make from the x, y and z axes in order to describe a fourth dimension.

A place that cannot be seen-- or even imagined-- from the pit of hatred.

fmragtops said...

I was worried about doing my 2996 tribute as well. When I signed up, I saw the face of a grandmother in Ms. Maria La Vache. A kind and generous face. I knew my words could never do her justice, but I had the ability to put her face up for everyone to see and remember that each one of 2,996 people that died was an individual. They weren't numbers, nor were they martyrs.

FIAR said...

I chickened out. I couldn't do it either, Insol. I was so happy when I found out that all the names had finally been taken.

Insolublog said...

a4g, I am grateful so many bloggers, like yourself, fm and the others listed above, took the time and effort to reach out on this project.

It was quite a monumental effort, expertly executed, I might add. Your words did justice to the memory of Christina Flannery and Maria La Vache. With FIAR, I can imagine the difficulty you experienced, stepping back into the funeral of a citizen you didn't know, and address their life and family.

I hope we can achieve the best possible outcome, but it is being actively sabotaged by the left. The Japanese are the textbook case. They were fierce, determined and insanely dedicated to their cause. We were able to break their will, and assert ours, long enough to shape a prosperous future. They were also an enemy with an imbued sense of honor, even though it was tragically misplaced. Brought to national sanity and freedom, they engaged in the competitive spirit of capitalism you spoke of, and become a jewel and a technical marvel. Patriotic Americans always seem to rise to match the size of every challenge, with an effort equal to the task.

This effort will be difficult. We have a terrorist enemy with an insane will. That spirit will also have to be broken. That cannot be done with this culture of defeat and diplomatic hand wringing. The war is young. I hope the American people put both the mandate and the authority into the political hot seat.

President Bush has recently, begun to put the cultural face on this war, in blunt, necessary terms.

The Conservative UAW Guy said...

I'm sad today.
And still pissed off, too.

Thanks for the great (as usual) post, Insol.

Insolublog said...

Thanks jimmyb. It's all over now ;)