American

A text from my brother last weekend informed me both that Europe had recently been terrorized and that three (point seven) million people demonstrated unity in and around Paris. My thoughts were “no surprise” and “that’s seems pretty remarkable” in that order. Honestly, as you can tell by there being no post released this morning, the show of unity has actually rendered me speechless. (Mon and Tues were kinda already developed over the weekend). I’d love to comment on such a big event. But there didn’t seem to be anything to say. It seemed awesome that that many people gathered together. When was the last time that many people got together? I want to say the million man march way back when claimed a million, but it’s always hard to count. Several other marches here have attempted to gather a million people, but they never succeed. One million people is a lot of people in the same place.

But here’s the thing. I don’t think any relatives of terrorists were in that show of unity. Were any parents of terrorists there? Or sibilngs? Or first cousins? Second cousins? How about their children or wives, did any of them show up?

Scratch that.

I want to talk about America. There are three hundred sixty million Americans. Subtract the approximately seventeen million college students and their professors who believe the terrorists may have a point, and that leaves three hundred forty million Americans walking the streets in unity against terrorism daily. Does anyone really doubt our resolve? Where’s that headline? Where’s that photo op?

Moreover, the United States’ active duty military numbers over one million men and women. And these people are serious. They don’t march down streets of peaceful cities lined with world-renowned architecture. They walk down dirt roads lined with IEDs. It’s easy to let piecemeal news stories about a couple fuck-ups ruin the larger organization’s image, but honestly the only image that counts is the one that includes American men and women serving this country today, American men and women who put their family through hell and risk their own lives near daily, American men and women who volunteer to do this because they were born (or fought their way) into a country that knows its way of life is better and worth sacrifices, American men and women who are constantly setting higher standards of honor, respect, service, integrity, excellence, decency, dignity, and a whole host of other virtues unlike any of their armed predecessors, American men and women who travel away from their neck of the woods to yours because you can’t get your shit together.

So yeah. It was neat that over three million Europeans went to the park. But when are you going to impress me?

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25 comments

  1. empressluna

    That may be the only image that matters to us domestically but it’s part of the arrogance that makes us (including -no, especially- military members) huge targets abroad. A peaceful protest may not do anything to fight the terrorists, no, but it does a lot to reinforce and strengthen relations with allies. I don’t disagree with what you’re saying, per se. But it’s not about being American, French, Russian, Muslim, Christian, etc. It’s about a group of cowardly murderers who threaten humanity as a whole.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Pete Deakon

      All I’ve seen my entire life is that people who stand for what’s right get attacked. I know you’re not suggesting to stop standing, but to be clear, I don’t care if perceived arrogance that is, in fact, based on a very accurate assessment of reality singles us out. The other options are much worse. You and I (hopefully you’re with me ;)) would never hurt someone because of what they believe, or whether they believe it arrogantly. That’s why we (and other like-minded souls) are better.

      Pete

      Liked by 1 person

  2. noelleg44

    THANK YOU for recognizing the job that our military does. Less than a million young men and women who do the job no one else wants to do and who take flak for it constantly, mainly from the faculty and students at institutions of higher education. I’m a military mom and was a university faculty member. When I put a sign on my door Proud Military Parent, I received a lot of negative comments. What is wrong with this picture? Your post brought tears to my eyes. I AM a proud American.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Pete Deakon

      You’re welcome. Yeah, it is a sad state. I get that college and higher education is a time for outside the box thinking, but it doesn’t need to make people feel bad, especially not faculty members that have made their choices.

      Pete

      Like

      • noelleg44

        FYI: Very sensitive following the event in France
        In a new initiative to promote religious pluralism, Duke University will broadcast the Muslim call to prayer every Friday on campus. The prayer will be broadcast and amplified from the Chapel bell tower on campus.

        Like

  3. Shannon

    My step-son fought in Iraqi Freedom. He is of the opinion that religion has nothing to do with terrorism and that there is no point to peace demonstrations as long as sheep are willing to hate whoever the Media tells them to hate. He loves his brothers in arms and lost his other brother who was also in the military with him. He agrees with me that a certain commander-in-chief is not (to put it nicely) a very good commander and that terrorism has nothing to do with religion and every to do with oil and a seaport.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Pete Deakon

      Sorry to hear about your (his) loss. That’s no good. Yes. It is complex. And it is no secret that a lot of military aren’t a fan of the boss. What can you do? (Seems like with Hillary taking the next one, change is as of yet out of sight.)

      Pete

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Sam

    I really enjoyed this post. I still do think it was neat that all the people gathered as they did in Paris. The amazing part to me is that if that was in America, don’t we all expect the news stories in the days following to be about all the criminal acts that took place? Seems like it would be pretty amazing for that many people to get together and not have any issues in our country. Every other day a shooting happens at a concert or somewhere with much fewer people than even 50k.

    My thoughts.

    Like

  5. quiltjunkie

    BRAVO! Well said. Very well said. I can’t say more because the flood gates will open and I may never be able to stop. Thank you for pointing out what we should all remember e.v.e.r.y. s.i.n.g.l.e. d.a.y.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Larry

    It ain’t bragging if it’s fact. Proud to be an American and hoping the next generations never lose sight of what we have. We are dangerously close to the number of years most great civilizations cracked. It will continue to require a strong belief in our foundational beliefs, not twisted by extremists both here and abroad.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Free by Forty!!!

    Nice post! I thought the march was a waste of time. That said, where was America in that march? All marches aside, when are we going to take this war more seriously???
    Freedom comes at a price!
    FBF

    Like

  8. John Love

    I have a lot of schooling, quite a bit in a college setting, but no formal degrees, unless you count certifications from GM factory schools, and several others. My point being that you made kind of a blanket statement about college students and professors and their idea that these terrorists had a point? I know that students are basically more liberal than most, I am, I guess, a liberal conservative, which I realize is an oxymoron, but I do not share this view, not at all. I guess it has been a while since I hung out on campus, and even then my friends tended to be other vets, but is this statement really factual. I mean I can see some, but that many, that horrifies me!

    Like

    • Pete Deakon

      Hey John,

      You’re making me smile. I’m just putting together words that are fun to read. Though, I haven’t found too many people outside of the higher education that actually try to ever come close to making an argument that the West’s way of life–our way of life–causes terrorism. And I have heard folks within higher education make that argument, as if we should change. Directly, no, 20 million people don’t think what I wrote. Probably only 19 million. 🙂

      Pete

      Like

  9. richardrensberry

    The state of our Universities have very much become a source for the destruction of the higher principles on which this country was founded. There is a misguided belief that so called “new ideas” are better than those that built this Nation. To make matters even worse is the fact that these “new ideas” aren’t new at all. They are the same tired isms and philosophies that have destroyed past civilizations. Modern psychology, political science, economics, even the way we pretend to wage war are badly altered versions of those that were once successful. American Universities seem to have a lack of discipline when it comes to preservation of workable knowledge. War is not something to be entered into lightly. It should be all or nothing. War is dirty business and has nothing to do with political correctness. We can’t expect a military to win at war then prevent them from doing so. There is no such thing as collateral damage, it is just damage. To win it takes damage beyond belief. To win you can’t worry about civilian casualties. In war there are no civilians. War has no conscience. In my opinion, this country and it’s allies have lost its ability to stand up to and confront the magnitude of force necessary to defeat a determined enemy. Sorry to be a pessimist, but I feel we are in a shit load of trouble down the line.

    Liked by 1 person

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