De' fliengde Vuogtlänn'r

Observations, rants, etc. from a guy who really gets around.

11.9.06

Defining Moments

Every generation has at least one "defining moment" -- an occurence that galvanizes the people and is forever etched in their memory. After that, it colors everything they do and influences the way they see the world. One hallmark of these events is that one rarely forgets where one was or what one was doing when they happened.

The downside (as we shall see) is that some of them are remembered for all the wrong reasons.

In my own life, there have been four:

The Wall On the night of 12 August 1961, the Soviets constructed a 28-mile wall around the eastern sector of Berlin. Until it was finally breached on 9 November 1989, "The Wall" referred to only one structure. For 26 years, it stood as a stark reminder of the difference between freedom and oppression, an ugly scar thru a once beautiful city.

Sometime in 1990, one of the networks ran some footage that had been shot in the mid-'60s about those who had tried to escape. There is no way that anyone could see the design of that wall and come to any other conclusion than that it was built to keep people in, not out. I remember watching that with my Dad and wondering what would happen to the people trapped inside.

The Kennedy Assassination I was in the sixth grade when that happened. The odd thing is that I remember that day not so much because of the assassination, but because of something totally unrelated that had just happened.

There was a girl in my class who had a sister a year or so older. Both were very intelligent, and did good work. For some reason, our teacher was taking her to task for some little mistake she had made and along the way she insulted this girl by saying "Why can't you be like your sister?". As young as I was, that made me incredibly angry. I felt like jumping up and saying "Because she's not her sister!". But there are some things one just does not do. At any rate, this poor girl was in tears. She had done her best, but it "wasn't good enough".

Just then, our teacher got called out of the room. A couple minutes later, she came back in. Looking over at my classmate, she said "You want something to cry about? Here's something to cry about: Pres. Kennedy has just been shot." The rest of the day is pretty much a blur.

What strikes me as odd about the Kennedy assassination is that people have almost universally remembered it for the wrong reasons. It wasn't "the end of Camelot". It had next to nothing to do with JFK or the Kennedy clan. The President of the United States had been assassinated.

The takeover of the US embassy in Tehran After all the hand-wringing of the Vietnam era, the national will was at a low ebb. Then came the ultimate insult: Islamic extremists stormed our embassy and took it over. Unfortunately, few people were willing -- or maybe they weren't intelligent enough -- to recognize this for what it was: an act of war. A nation's embassy is considered under international law to be an actual part of that country. The takeover took place with the full knowledge and cooperation of the government.

The proper response would have been to at least invade Iran and free the hostages, if not outright declare war on the country. Unfortunately, our "president" lacked the guts to do what was necessary. For this, we paid a heavy price and are still paying it today.

9/11 Yes, I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing. Better than that, I paid attention to the who and why. Those murderous thugs also perpetrated an act of war against the United States. Had Pres. Bush done a better job of standing up to the Chinese when they forced down one of our aircraft (another act of war), this might not have happened.

Once again, people are not paying attention to what is really going on. Amid all the weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth, the hand-wringers have failed to learn why these thugs hate us. It has little to do with our presence in the Middle East (although a non-interventionist policy would be a great idea). It doesn't even have all that much to do with our support of Israel; although that's a convenient excuse.

It has to do with our freedom. There are some people in this world who simply cannot stand the idea that other people are free to make choices with which they do not agree. I've seen it a million times. Since before this world began, there has been a struggle between freedom and tyranny. And that struggle will continue until this world ends. The only question is which side you're on.

"Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace-- but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!" -- Patrick Henry

4 Comments:

At 05:46, Blogger T. F. Stern said...

How soon some forget...

 
At 11:23, Blogger Lucy Stern said...

There are so many that want us to just "cut and run". What do they know about freedom and real peace. I was also in middle school when President Kennedy was killed. The day before I had seen him in person when he made a stop in Houston. We lived by the airport and my mom wanted us to see a real President of the United States. She took us over and I got to see him as he and Jackie got off the plane and walked right past us to get in a limo. I was in awe of seeing a real President. The next day I was in my PE class when a voice came over the loud speaker and announced that the President had been shot. I was in shock.

I suppose that 9/11 was our Pearl Harbor. My mothers birthday was on December the 7th. and she used to talk how she would never forget that day. It was a Sunday and she had friends over to help celebrate her birthday. They were listening to the radio when the announcement can that Pearl Harbor had been bombed.

I think we all have days that are etched on our memories and hopefully we remember them for the right reasons.

 
At 18:13, Blogger Galt-In-Da-Box said...

I don't buy all that sailboat fuel Dubya let out about "They hate us for our freedom."
They hate us because we're not ragheads, who worship the devil spirit they worship. Instead, we are a nation divided between Pseudo-christianity and atheism, and a house thus divided against itself cannot stand. The churches are on the dole, and preaching the big-government, false gospel of socialism the left has always, under the guise of compassionate conservatism.

America needs a miracle, and only the God of the Bible can save it. Politicians and their lies hinder that deliverance.

 
At 19:39, Blogger Jahn said...

Bush is right, but the two are not mutually exclusive. They hate us for both reasons.

 

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