Or, You Can't Take That Away . . .
I'm never going to forget. I've told you the story before. I was at home, with my near-newborn, in an apartment in New York. Dr. Bloom was at a window, where he could actually see the first tower smoke, before it was news. He called me and asked me to turn on the news. Something was happening. The infant Little Bun layed on the floor in front of a screen on which the world as we thought we knew it seemed to collapse. My dearest friend's ship changed course, preparing to defend our nation.
Later, we gathered with our community. Was it hours later? Days? I don't know. Still later, with our church, who had lost members, but which thought they would be returning. Pictures taped to trees. Have you seen this man? Paper flags, printed in the newspaper, taped to the inside of our windows. We cried, and prayed, and feared, and prayed, and cried, and listened to F-16s circling our home.
And one day we decided to fight against that fear. Not only fear generated by the terrorists (they'll WIN if we don't get back to our normal lives!) but by our president's men, too (who would later tell us that if we didn't take a family trip to Disney World, the terrorists would WIN), a government who wanted a war in Iraq when we wanted them to continue the mission in Afghanistan. Get plastic and duct tape for the windows. Next time it'll be biological. Make sure you have a doomsday bag in the basement. It might be a dirty bomb. Be sure you have a basement. Plan a meeting place, an escape route from the city. Trust in the All-Mighty God, who is surely on the side of Infinite Justice (a catchy name for an operation, right?) . . . only be sure you have a back-up plan. That plan should include living in fear.
Only . . . if you survived . . . get on with your lives. Smile patiently when others try to take your pain, turn it into theirs, pretend that they could understand what it was like. Have a new look in your eyes that might never go away. Be proud to be American (but secretly wonder about this business about a trauma-bond).
Mr.McCain, I'm using today to say that you can't take that experience and what I learned from it away from me no matter how you try. The Republicans do not corner the market on a desire for security for our children, for all of God's children.