Thursday, May 17, 2007

Freedom is not Free

I went to Mass with my Mom on Mother’s Day not an unusual event in itself really. But what unfolded during that mass was eventful, at least to me it was. I have really been obsessed with watching the news lately. Anderson Cooper 360 and CNN tends to be on constantly. I find myself noticing the headlines of the world news online more than I have in the past, suicide bombers, car bombs, and the like. Now I am not a complete fool, and I don’t just listen to what the media has to say, I am interested in what the soldiers have to say too.

So when I woke up Sunday morning I read and heard about the 4 soldiers that were killed in an attack near Mahmoudiya, south of Baghdad, and the three soldiers that remain missing even at the time of this posting. I couldn’t help but think that there were probably quite a few Mothers sick with worry wondering if it was one of their sons that was captured, or worse being informed their son had been killed.

I have to admit that I have not been an informed citizen since the invasion of Iraq began, and I am quite sure it is for the same reason that most of America remains uninformed, we have become complacent. How many of us really give a fuck about what is going on over there? This country has the attention span of a nat when it comes to something that does not affect us personally, all we can do is bitch about gas prices and wonder when our wallet is going to get a break. We go about our lives getting up in the morning, driving to work, watching American Idol on our 60 inch plasma televisions and don’t think twice about our troops being slaughtered on a daily basis, and for what? Until this war becomes “personal” for mainstream America I don’t see that much will be done to keep our troops from being led to the slaughter.

Our complacency is killing our troops everyday, over 3,000 in have died in this war already, in a war that many of us can’t even intelligently verbalize why we are fighting. Did it ever occur to our government that not everyone in this world wants needs or even desires a free and democratic society? Or that it is even feasible? .But complacency is easy and well it is the status quo as our government continues to occupy a county and allow your young men and women to die. Consider a withdrawal? Of course not, that would admit defeat in a situation where victory in my opinion is not even possible, or desired by the individuals our troops are dying for.

So we wait, we wait for our sons and daughters to come home, hopefully of sound mind and body. I was able to witness that during mass on Sunday. A young man from our parish surprised his Mother by unexpectedly appearing by her side as Mass began. She had no idea he had been released from his deployment, that he was coming home; I can’t tell you the mixture of emotions she exhibited, joy, relief, pride, thankfulness all wrapped up in one when she saw him standing there in his dress blues. But my thoughts are of the other Mother’s who weren’t as fortunate that day, whose visit from a uniformed officer was not as joyous. So we end the service by lighting a candle, a candle for the missing soldiers, the families of the dead servicemen, and for the young men and women preparing to go to war to replace them. Freedom is never Free.