This is a blog entry I wrote that I never posted because by the time I had time,

it was way past the event and I thought it was too late.

Charlie G

One steamy night last July

I left my house tonight to go to a 12 step meeting. As I closed the door & headed towards my car, I stopped.
I live on a quiet street. Trees stand at attention the length of my road, with their branches’ overhang a mesh of coolness on most afternoons. Not a lot of street lights, and those that are there are placed a ways apart.
The night was blanketed in what looked like fog, but had the sharp, acrid smell of gunpowder.
It stopped me short. It was not a normal sight when you leave your house in Miami.
The smell though, a little more so.
Then,
BOOM!
I flinched, body crouching in the ‘duck & run’ position, then saw,
A colorful cascade of lights littering the sky as a 4th of July fireworks display played out above me.
Another BOOM.
And another.
As I stood there, flinching at each concussion and looking up & down my road at the street lamps light being filtered through the leaves of the overhanging trees and crystallizing into distinct, flashlight beams stabbing the hazy night;
The fireworks’ smoke as effective as a fog machine in a South Beach strip club,
As loud, explosive booms played in the background instead of the dj’s top 10 songs;
I felt each concussion resound inside of myself as its force washed over me.
I felt like I had gone through the twilight zone into the twilight zone.
The movie.
The foggy, night scene where the Hollywood army helicopter’s planned crash caused the unplanned death of actor Vic Morrow. He died as explosions rocked the air around him in the dark, smoke filled, simulated war scene.
Then I thought; This is what our soldiers are going through in Iraq.
Every night.
It was a scary realization.
What they are doing.
Going through.
Over there.
With just my taste of it,
Over here.
For us.
For what?
Why are they over there?
As I am,
Flinching at every BOOM,
In a place I didn’t recognize.
Getting a taste in that one night,
What our guys are going through,
Every night.
It was enough.
Peace

It may be naive, but..

By CharlieG

I was asked to change my aviator to a flame on another blog, to support peace and the end of war.

And I wondered.
I have a tattoo on my shoulder I got back in the 80's. It is of the American flag, and has the words 'And proud of it' around it.’
When I got it, I was.
Now, I'm not.
Not an easy thing to say, especially when you love your country as I do.
And I DO love this country.
My country.
My country was a country that the world looked to for guidance.
For moral guidance.
My country was a country that the world looked to for an example of how the world should be.
My country represented;
God.
Hope.
Rights.
Freedom.
Possibilities.
Love.
We had CARE, HOPE, The RED CROSS
We fed the poor and defended the weak.
We were a beacon for the underdog.
We championed God.
Human rights.
Our rights.
We helped bring about a fledgling democracy in Russia.
And bring down the wall in East Berlin.
We've helped bring more rights to more people in more countries.

Now,

We don't start school with a morning prayer anymore.

Now we are sued when we do.
We want to take Christ out of Christmas.
Heck, we want to change 'Merry Christmas' to 'Happy Holidays.'
Your phone calls can now be listened to without a warrant.
Your emails read without a warrant.
You can be locked up in prison for the rest of your life without ever seeing a judge, if you’re labeled a terrorist suspect.
Who has that job? (Do NOT want him pissed off at me)! Peace, bro !
And we want to build a wall across our border???
We have an immigration problem because our economy is so much better than our neighbor.
Our neighbor.
Our ally.
I have an idea of what we should do instead of putting up a WALL across our country.
Why don’t we build all those factories that we use in China, for all that stuff we think we need here,
In Mexico?
They would be able to earn a comfortable living, and thus want to stay, in their own country.
We would be helping an ally.
A neighbor
Their cost of living might be more than their Asian counter parts, but it is still much lower than ours.
The savings from not having to ship it to us from half way around the world would cover it.
And I bet it would be a lot easier to do quality control checks for lead in the paint of children’s toys!
It may be naive, but it's what popped into my head.

On the radio coming home the other day, a guy was asking about the rising discontent with the war in Iraq.

"Where was our fortitude? Where was that drive that carried us to victory in World War I & II?" He sputtered.
In those wars we were the defenders. Not the aggressors.
We were protecting a sovereign country.
Not invading one.
It may be naive, but it's what popped into my head.

I got an email asking me to change my avatar to promote peace and the end of the war, and I thought, 'This might be an ok time to say how I feel.'

Then I thought;
I have to wait for the right time to say how I feel?
I have to be scared if I want to say how I feel?
I have to worry about being called a sympathizer, or unpatriotic, if I say what I feel?
In my country?
In America?
This can't be right.
It may be naive, but it's what popped into my head.
peace.
Charlie G
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