Dropped the House Blond off early Friday morning so she could help decorate the junior high school for Patriot's Day. Like the Orwellian-titled Patriot Act, I'm not sure that referring to this day as Patriot's Day is entirely appropriate. But it is a brave new world, Girls (shrugs).
There were already a couple of dozen kids taping up red, white, and blue crepe paper bunting along with dozens of American flags. Looked more like an Independence Day celebration than a somber remembrance of the tragic terrorist attack that occurred on September 11, 2001.
At The Boy's high school it was a bit different. A moment of silence followed by business as usual.
In years past, the elementary school invited the parents, decked out the entire school in red, white, and blue. The principal read GWB's proclamations and then called out for the old soldiers, the young Corpsmen, Iraqi & 'Nam vets, cops, & firefighters. They stood and we applauded. The kids sang God Bless America and God Bless the USA, folding chairs filled with serious faces singing patriotic tunes.
We were told that these are our First Responders, a recently minted term that implies something that makes me a bit uncomfortable.
I don't have anything against firefighters or Marines, it's just that the American spirit is more Todd Beamer than it is sitting on your hands in helpless terror waiting for the arrival and instruction of public officials. Help that may never come at all.
We honor those who lost their lives that day and we remember because of the sheer magnitude of the carnage as well as the implications of that criminal act of terrorism. But we've lost more than that. Since September 11, 2001 our liberties have eroded at an alarming pace. We've allowed it to take place in exchange for a little bit of government supplied Security Theater.
America is no safer nor is it more at risk than it was nine years ago. But you, Gentle Reader, are significantly less free than you were on September 10, 2001.
The pictures of The Boy and The House Blond in years past.