Whacko Environmentalists – 0 Mankind – 1

Now I’ve been telling you folks that these greenie whackjobs were over the top – maybe now you’ll believe me.

Apparently a whacko nutjob environmentalist thinks that dirty filthy human beings should be gotten rid of and to prove the passion of his belief took hostages at the Discovery Channel’s headquarters (Yes, the Discovery Channel, not BP Oil or a major filthy carbon footprint emitting corporate entity – but the Discovery Channel) . They think he had a bomb strapped to him but the cans were recycled so, it could be that used fertilizer and coffee grounds just don’t detonate properly.

Long story short – the police didn’t mess around considering thousands of lives were at risk and now he is one dead whacko environmentalist. To prove it here are some of his thoughts as voiced on his website (which I will not cite because I don’t think crazy people deserve increased blog traffic), courtesy of ABC News:

Lee writes that the channel should cease its current programming and replace it with a game show about reducing the global population.

The channel, he wrote, should produce a program about “how people can live WITHOUT giving birth to more filthy human children since those new additions continue pollution and are pollution.”

“The world needs TV shows that DEVELOP solutions to the problems that humans are causing, not stupify the people into destroying the world. Not encouraging them to breed more environmentally harmful humans,” he wrote.

“Saving the environment and the remaning [sic] species diversity of the planet is now your mindset. Nothing is more important than saving them. The Lions, Tigers, Giraffes, Elephants, Froggies, Turtles, Apes, Raccoons, Beetles, Ants, Sharks, Bears, and, of course, the Squirrels. . . The humans? The planet does not need humans,” he wrote.

This article describes the ordeal in full.

Well, Mr. Lee, I suppose I should congratulate you on acheiving your objective, at least in part – because now there is one less filthy human being on the planet.  I’m sure the lions and tigers and bears are really jazzed too.

Writer Chick

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To All The Dead Terrorists

HAPPY 72 VIRGIN DAY!

(Oh yeah, he probably never also heard the ‘hell hath no fury’ quote either – because well, he was a stupid-ass terrorist. Now he is a dead stupid-ass terrorist. Like i always say ‘a good terrorist is a dead terrorist.’ )

The E-Factor -Why the Left Hate GW

(I wrote this piece shortly before the 2004 election – and it seemed fitting to post it today. In the re-reading, I find I have not fundamentally changed my mind about this piece or the man. WC) 

Since the 2000 Election I have puzzled on why the Left so abhors George W. Bush and everything for which he stands. Whatever the action, cause, purpose, bill, law, candidate, issue or position, if George W. Bush likes it, they hate it. Historically, the Left and the Right have always been at odds and are often on opposite ends of issues – but this is not the normal, run of the mill, animus on display. This appears to be real, genuine hatred, and I’ve been asking myself, why? What makes George W. Bush the devil incarnate to those on the other side of the aisle? What makes thousands rally to the site of the Republican Convention to not just protest, but to display unadulterated vitriol toward our President?

It wasn’t until the last night of the convention and after the President’s acceptance speech that it hit me. I watched the speech on ABC and Peter Jennings, George Stephanopolis and others were the commentators after the speech. While I can’t remember precisely what they said – the essence was ‘wow.’ They were visibly touched, moved and impressed by the President’s speech – particularly the last six paragraphs. One of their convention reporters said that it was not just the President’s words that had so moved those present but something more – a palpable connection. He said that the people in that room clearly felt an emotional connection to the President.

“Ah,” I said to myself. “Emotional connection – the E-factor.” That non-quantitative quality that cannot be learned, bottled, transplanted, manufactured or faked. George W. Bush for all his faults (his swagger, his bluntness, his ‘cowboy’ ways) connects with people emotionally. Even avowed political opposers have said he’s charming, funny, down to earth and a really nice guy. They like him. They really like him. Remember that hug between Tom Daschle and the President shortly after 9/11?

Ironically, Bill Clinton had that same quality. He connected on an emotional level with his audience and the American people – so much so that they voted him into office not once, but twice. Despite all of his mistakes, faux pas, scandals and outrageous behavior, Clinton supporters could not be swayed to turn away from him. He was, after all, America’s ‘First Black President.’ He did, after all, ‘feel our pain.’ And understood us, as no American president ever had. He worried about us as no American president ever had. And, he was going to take care of us as no American president ever had. His foibles, were just that. Not scandals, not outrages, not immoral acts – just boys being boys. Just private matters. They didn’t affect how he led the country. Every good thing that happened during his administration was very, very good. And every bad thing that happened was merely a lapse in judgment, a small mistake or indiscretion. Bill Clinton could lead us anywhere because of this incredible ability to feel for and connect with the ‘every-man.’

The Left was delighted because Bill’s special talent had led them into the White house. The babyboomers of the Viet Nam era were finally ‘in charge.’ They were going to show everyone how to do it better. Prove that their ideologies from those days gone by of protests and antiwar activities were the enlightened way. The right way. They were going to prove that their utopian visions from the sixties would be the ultimate reality of the nineties. Socialism would out.

Then along came George W. Bush. It wasn’t bad enough that Clinton couldn’t run again and they had only Al Gore to offer as his replacement. But now they had a loudmouthed, straight-shooting, swaggering cowboy galloping toward the White house. He would ruin everything they’d spent eight years building. He was going to make a mockery of all their hard work of moving the American mind-set to the politically-correct mode. Yes, he was scary indeed. Terrifying, in fact.

But worse than his Right Wing ideologies he had the one thing they knew they couldn’t fight. That same, special quality possessed by their idol, Bill Clinton. They saw it from the very beginning. People all over the country connected with George W. Bush. Their eyes glistened with heartfelt tears when he spoke of family values, a belief in God, patriotism and the American way. W possessed the secret weapon the Left believed to be their exclusive territory. Worse still, he used it all wrong. While Bill felt our pain, W felt our joy. Bill wanted to take care of us, but W wanted to help us help ourselves. Bill promised to be responsible for us but W expected us to be responsible for ourselves. Bill promised to spend our money wisely but W gave us our money back. Bill said we should think about it first but W said they were going to hear from us. Bill talked to our enemies but W blew them out of the water.

Two men with the same talent but very different messages. Two men with the same connection to the American people but with very different visions for them. Two men with the same incredible persuasion but on opposite sides of the aisle. Why does the Left really hate George W. Bush? Because he can and does do what Bill Clinton did but so much better and toward a better end.

Poster Girl

Sorry guys, I don’t usually post two videos in one week but I just had to post this one.

It’s from Aussie singer Beccy Cole who is singing “Poster Girl” in response to some of her fans who disagree with her supporting the Diggers, the Australian soldiers fighting in Afghanistan.

Really makes me tear up.

WC

Get Your Jihadi Name Here!

jihad

Zelda sent this along. I figured it might come in handy if the world goes to shit – which seems pretty damned likely. Check it out and get a name – hell get names for your whole family even – never know when we might have to go deep undercover. 😉
WC

My Unitarian Jihad Name is: The Neutron Bomb of Love and Mercy.

Get yours.

This is Torture?

         

                   You’ll be delighted to know that terrorists residing at Gitmo are resting easy – a full uninterupted 8 hours per night. Now, I can’t tell you the last time I had 8 uninterupted hours of sleep – maybe I should get me an orange jumpsuit.

They are eating like little piggies too – all kosher Islamic food, which our troops are also forced to eat because care and comfort of the enemy does come first after all. Oh and when they are extra special good and don’t throw feces or other lovely bodily waste at the guards they get homebaked cookies and sometimes even Subway or MacDonald’s fish samiches. Talk about room service! Jeez! And most of these dudes have gained 20 lbs while in detainment. I have heard rumors that Bali is currently negotiating with the U.S. government to put in a spa and a team of personal trainers – I mean, we wouldn’t want these bad boys to become flabby would we? However would they survive once they are back on the battlefield – it could definitely cut their running time.

Boy, what ever happened to the good old days when rough and tumble terrorists could get by on a couple hours shut-eye, and whatever roots they could scrounge in their caves?

They happily pray five times daily on prayer rugs paid for by you and me. And of course, they also have qurans, which we infidels are not allowed to touch, also provided by the American taxpayer. Nice, eh? And of course, since they must pray 5 times a day on their government issue rugs whilst reading from their government issue qurans, they most definitely cannot be interrogated during any time period that might cut into their chats with their god. Heaven forbid! Amnesty International would come down on us like a ton of bricks. As it is, they are already writing us up for the transfats in the filetofish samiches – although, maybe if the deal with Bali comes through soon enough, we’ll get off with a warning and no fine.

How do I know these things you ask? I happened to read Deadly Kindness written by Richard Miniter  a bestselling author and fellow at the Hudson Institute. He says:

ON the military plane back from America’s most famous terrorist holding pen, the in-flight film was “V for Vendetta,” a screed that tries to justify terrorism. It was a fitting end to a surreal, military-sponsored trip.

The Pentagon seemed to be hoping to disarm its critics by showing them how well it cares for captured terrorists. The trip was more alarming than disarming. I spent several hours with Rear Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr., who heads the joint task force that houses and interrogates the detainees. (The military isn’t allowed to call them “prisoners.”)Harris, a distinguished Navy veteran who was born in Japan and educated at Annapolis and Harvard, is a serious man trying to do a politically impossible job. I spoke with him at length, and with a dozen other officers and guards, and visited three different detention blocks.

The high-minded critics who complain about torture are wrong. We are far too soft on these guys – and, as a result, aren’t getting the valuable intelligence we need to save American lives. The politically correct regulations are unbelievable. Detainees are entitled to a full eight hours sleep and can’t be woken up for interrogations. They enjoy three meals and five prayers per day, without interruption. They are entitled to a minimum of two hours of outdoor recreation per day.Interrogations are limited to four hours, usually running two – and (of course) are interrupted for prayers.

One interrogator actually bakes cookies for detainees, while another serves them Subway or McDonald’s sandwiches. Both are available on base. (Filet o’ Fish is an al Qaeda favorite.)(read the rest here)

After reading this article I was utterly infuriated especially in light of the pc crowd’s cries of inhumane treatment of these men bent on our destruction. You want to see inhumane treatment of prisoners? How about this:

or perhaps this

or this…..

Yes folks, this is what the enemy does to our men and women who fight for our freedom every day. This is the guideline used in the treatment of American prisoners. Kind of makes you think that water boarding ain’t all that bad, doesn’t it?

I sure as hell know these prisoners didn’t gain any weight while imprisoned. They did not have 1,000 pro bono attorneys respresenting their ‘rights.’ They did not get copies of bibles or the torah, or rosary beads or prayer time. In fact, the ones who survived were lucky to get out with their lives.

So the next time you hear somebody boo-hooing about how we ugly Americans treat our detainees or griping about a couple of loose cannons who dared to put underpants on some dude’s head – tell them to shut the fuck up! (and to take advantage of that free, introductory martial arts class – as they may need it sooner than they think)

WC

Could be a PR Problem

A new article on World Net Daily entitled, Internet, Talk Radio Blamed for ‘Anti-muslim Violence’ has CAIR discussing how they believe that Talk Radio and the Internet are giving Muslims a bad name.

Some choice quotes from the article:

“A leading U.S. Islamic lobby group blames a purported rise in anti-Muslim harassment, violence and discriminatory treatment on the Internet and talk radio.”

and

“Hooper, nevertheless, charged the federal “Patriot Act” – laws designed to give authorities more resources to fight terrorism – has targeted Muslims unfairly.In its 2004 report, CAIR also claimed a “sharp jump” in “Islamophobic hate crimes” and blamed talk radio.”

Now call me crazy, but I’m thinking that it’s really things like this

(I believe that is an American Flag)

and perhaps this:

(this is a mock-up of the Pope)

And this:

(I’m thinking Israel)

And this:

(Not my kind of party)

And of course this celebratory impromptu pic on Sept 11th:

(they have a funny way of mourning)

And then there are their particular child-rearing philosophies:

Do you think that maybe, just maybe it’s these and countless other examples that make people think there is something to fear?

Me? I’m thinking it’s a definite PR problem and they need to get better photographers or better subjects. What do you think?

WC

See No Evil

It is easy to be loved – all you have to do is whatever people approve of and you’re the life of the party. It’s far more difficult to hold your ground because it is for the greater good, especially if it is not ‘popular’ or easy, or quick or snappy.

There are people in this country, some of them elected officials in the service of the public, who would rather forward the notion that our President is an idiot, evil, genius manipulator than to confront the fact that there is evil in this world. In particular, evil that seeks to destroy all that does not resemble it or will not submit to it.

I believe that most people have good hearts, mean well, don’t do things to intentionally hurt others. But I also know that there are people who are not good, do not have good hearts, do not mean well and do things to intentionally hurt people. If that weren’t true, we never would have heard of Hitler, Stalin, Fidel Castro, Pol Pot, Ted Bundy, Jack the Ripper, Charles Manson, Saddam Hussein, or any of the others who live in infamy throughout history. Past and present.

So, I have to ask myself – why can’t people see it? Is it just that they don’t want to? Is it too inconvenient? Do they have better things to do? Is it just too much trouble? Is it unawareness, stupidity, dullness, lack of intelligence, lack of rationale, arrogance? What? Why?

Why is it so damned hard to acknowledge that evil exists. And sometimes it descends into our lives?

Not long ago, I was involved in a project called simply 2996. It had the lofty goal of paying tribute to the 2996 Americans who were killed on Sept 11th 200l. 2996 bloggers would each pay tribute to one of the 2996 victims. I was proud to be involved and honored to pay tribute to a New York City Firefighter, Steve Mercado. I was flabberghasted that even some of Steve’s family came and read the tribute and made very kind comments about it.

But I must say that the whole experience was hard on me and I believe on all the others involved. We re-live the pain, the destruction, the sorrow on each anniversary and that day is hard on us. Well most of us, anyway – because, I am sorry to say that there are those who believe that we somehow deserved that event in our country. That we did something to make it happen. That by virtue of being us we deserved a national, tragic come-uppance.

My response to this is either that is the height of arrogance, because to believe that, you must also believe that the world revolves around you. Or the height of denial – because you have to believe that there is no such thing as evil in the world. Or that they didn’t mean it.

To me, this is the most dangerous thing we face in our current lives. The predisposition to believe that all people are good. That all people are sorry for the bad acts they commit. That you have only to talk, or negotiate, or convince people of the errors of their ways.

If this were true, there would be no need for laws, for prisons, for military forces, for police, for anything that would seek to blunt bad actions. We’d all live in harmony and co-exist in peaceful evolution.

I think it is a fine dream that we someday come to this place. But we’re not there. Far from it. Despite all our technology, advanced philosophies and access to the world, cultures, sciences and knowledge we aren’t the evolved beings we believe ourselves to be.

We can’t even face the fact that we all have evil in ourselves. We fight it each day. We do good deeds to make it go away, so we don’t have to look at it. See it. But it is there. And if we can’t face and correct our own bad acts as individuals, we are destined to be the victims of it.

The world is a dangerous place and while I don’t think anyone should live their lives in fear, I do think we need to acknowledge that and be willing and ready to face and fight that danger whenever it rears its ugly head. If you want something beautiful to exist in this world you must be willing to fight for it. My question is, are we? Will we?

I’m betting on us. I’m praying for us. I hope you are too.

WC

Soldier of One

9/11 has become an entry in all of our personal lexicons and we remember, where we were, what we were doing and how we responded to the attacks upon this country that day. Regardless of who we are, where we are from, what we do for a living, our hobbies, our religions, or our political philosophies, we have that event in common. My response to that day was this story. WC

The enemy had come. Again. “Freedom itself was attacked today…” the words ricocheted in his mind. Dillon Conlon knew what he had to do.

He laid out his camouflage greens with care and precision. Pulled boots over feet that felt nothing, lacing them high and tight.

The whir of the chair’s motor was a soldier’s cadence, as he moved down the street, summoning a call to arms. Silence enshrouded the town as if the natives had crawled into a coffin and slammed the lid shut.

Only the cobalt haze of television screens marked the way to his objective as he traveled the darkened streets. Tonight, no one would venture out and stop his mission. A small reprieve, for tomorrow, they’d challenge him, his conviction and resolve. He wouldn’t waiver.

He saw her then, rippling sleepily in the evening breeze, proud and vigilant. The crisp, night air echoed his steady breathing and kept the voices away. The scent of night-blooming jasmine belied the evil that had touched them. He chewed on salty jerky as his nimble hands worked to fasten himself to the pole. With clear commitment he assumed his post. Surrender was not an option.

*

“Where’s Dillon?” Emma peered through the room bathed in the flickering light of the television.

Matthew shrugged.

Agitated, she swiped at her tear-stained face. “Where is he?” She got up and moved toward the kitchen.

“I don’t know,” Matthew sulked. “Don’t care, either.”

Emma was so intent on finding Dillon, she ignored Matthew’s sarcasm. Going from room to empty room, she called out his name; as if he’d emerge from the shadows like an ancient wizard.

Matthew watched from the kitchen doorway as Emma dialed the phone. “What’s the big deal?” he asked.

Emma’s eyes scolded him. They’d watched the attacks on television, hour after hour. Everything was a big deal. Now. “Sheriff? It’s Emma Wardley. . . Dil’s missing . . .a couple of hours? . . . what if something’s happened?…He’s not crazy!…Mike!”

She slammed down the receiver. “What’s wrong with people?” Tears spilled out again but she ignored them.

*

Morning reached out her arms to all the gray corners of the town, as its citizens moved warily toward their business. Imprisoned by their own shock and sorrow, no one noticed Dillon chained to the flag pole that was the focal point of the Square. Exhibiting a soldier’s posture, even in a wheelchair, he displayed a sign, “We will not surrender!” Across his lap lay a rifle he’d used in his war, Viet Nam; the one that had robbed him of his legs. At his feet, lay a kit that held water, jerky, aspirin and chewing gum. Life had steeled him against needing any more to survive.

*

Emma’s Bronco groaned in low gear as it inched down the nearly empty street. Gripping the steering wheel, she peered through red and swollen eyes. “Keep looking,” she pressed Matthew. “Where is he?”

“Oh man!” Matthew groaned.

Emma cringed as she followed Matthew’s gaze. “Oh Dillon!”

Matthew watched as Emma rushed to rescue the nut-job veteran, chained to the flag pole.”I’m never going to live this down,” he muttered and pulled his Yankees’ cap over his eyes.

Emma got within twenty feet when Dillon’s eyes met hers. “Halt!”

The conviction in his voice daunted Emma.”Dil, what are you doing?”

“I, Dillon Conlan, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution . . . ”

Emma took another tentative step but he reached for the rifle. “Dil?” She stopped.

“. . .of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same.”

Emma’s mind clicked. Yesterday had changed everything. Everybody. How could she know what it had done to him? His mind had steeled itself against intruders so long ago, would he let her in?

“I know you’re outraged. We all are! We’re all scared.” What comfort could she offer him? Or anyone? There were no words for this. There never would be. She searched his turquoise eyes for his spark. “Dil, they’re not coming here! We’re safe!” But her face said they weren’t safe. Nobody was.

Dillon stumbled over the remaining words.”. . .and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States. . .So help me God.”

A siren squawked behind her. Jangling keys and cuffs, and squeaky leather boots, announced Mike Guthrie’s arrival.”What’ve we got here?”

“It’s okay, Sheriff. We’re just. . . talking.” She kept her eyes on Dillon.

Guthrie scowled. “You and God, only ones think you can reach him.” Guthrie chewed on his lower lip. “Okay son, unfix yourself from that pole.” He didn’t bother to hide the bite in his voice.

Dillon raised his right hand in a salute.

Guthrie smirked. “No need for that.”

But the tribute was intended for the flag that waved like an old friend to the displaced combatant.

Guthrie scowled and shook his head. “I’ve had enough of your…”

“His what?” Emma asked. “He isn’t doing anything. Not hurting anybody.” She winked at Dillon and his eyes came to life. “Honoring the flag isn’t against the law, is it?”

“Emma,” Dillon whispered as if her name held magic. He took her hand and squeezed it.

Guthrie sighed like an old nag. “We can’t have him chained up to a dang flag pole. . . ”

“Why not?” Emma asked. She raised Dillon’s hand in solidarity. “Why not?”

Guthrie rolled his eyes. “What the hell is this, Emma? Some old hippy rebellion? Power to the people and all that?” He screwed up his face and wagged a finger at her. “Well, I got news for you, this ain’t 1968 no more. This is 2001…”

Voices murmured behind him and he turned to see several people had gathered.

Sam Johnson put his hand on Guthrie’s shoulder. “We know it’s not 1968 anymore. Leave the guy alone, eh Mike?”

“There’s nothing wrong with non-violent protest,” Marianne Copple said.

Guthrie grumbled and the crowd multiplied like dandelions on a newly seeded lawn. They were drawn to Dillon and his cause.

“Let him be. Don’t hassle him.”

He looked around, shrugged and stomped back toward his patrol car. “Fine, just make sure this don’t get outta hand. Pick up your trash and let me know when you come back to your senses.” He got in his car and drove off as if he had some place else to go and something else to do.

Sam started to sing God Bless America and the others joined in. Matthew dragged himself out of the car and pushed through the crowd to find Emma. He stopped when he saw her standing next to Dillon, holding his hand and singing along. He shook his head in disgust. “I’m leaving,” he said.

“No, stay here, with us.”

“Nope.”

“Matthew!”

“Look Mom, I’m tired and I don’t want to stay here and sing stupid songs. You want to stay, go ahead. I’m going home and eating some cereal and going to bed.”

Emma frowned. “I don’t want you to be alone.” She reached out to him but he pulled away.

“I’m not a baby. I can take care of myself.” He gave her a grin. “Look, I know you want to stay. I’ll come back later.”

Emma hesitated.

“I promise!” Matthew gave a boy scout salute and crossed his heart.

“All right,” Emma nodded. “But don’t be gone long. Don’t stay in that house all day and night. And don’t watch any more television.”

Matthew nodded and walked away.

By nightfall, the town had gathered around the man they’d called a lunatic, a loser, a lost cause. Flags of all sizes and dimensions waved in the amber light of flickering candles. Their voices united in songs of bravery and patriotism, and they felt better. They had done something to fight back. All because of Dillon Conlan.

*

Matthew didn’t keep his word. He stayed in the house and had watched every minute of the coverage alone and in the dark. He wept as he’d never before. For the murdered innocents, for himself, but mostly, for his own dead father. Who Matthew only knew from faded photographs and the Yankees’ baseball cap that once belonged to him. He put it to his face, as if a trace of his father’s smell remained. As if his brain would trigger some real memory, but it didn’t.

Emma rushed in rosy-cheeked and excited. Her color drained and her mood sunk when she saw Matthew curled up in a ball on the sofa.”Oh Matthew! Honey, I’m sorry! I shouldn’t have let you come back alone. I’m here.”

He pushed away from her. “Yeah, until he does some stupid-ass thing again! What are they doing? Having a barbeque? You come back for the marshmallows? It’s after midnight!”

“Matty. . .”

“No, Mom! Not this time! No more crap about Dillon defending our country and what a fucking hero he is!” Matthew made fists so tight that his wrists ached. “He’s a jerk! My father was a hero! Not him!”

He bolted upstairs to his room and slammed the door. Emma went after him. “Matthew Wardley, you open this door! I mean it!”

His silence ate at her.

“Matthew, please…open the door.” Would her tears never stop? She longed for life as it was. “I need you, Matty. Now, more than ever. We’re going to get through this, honey. Together. We have to. What choice do we have?”

She leaned against the door and listened, hoping to connect. Wishing he were younger and she could make him feel safe just by putting her arms around him. “Those days are over,” she told herself. Her boy was a young man and not so easily swayed anymore.

She tore herself away from the door and her need for his approval and went downstairs. He would come out when he was ready.

She stood at the stove stirring cocoa into a saucepan of milk heating over the burner. She added sugar and stirred some more. The simple act reminded her of Matthew in his father’s arms – barely a toddler – both boys eager for their hot chocolate.

“You don’t need me. You have him.”

He sounded so tired. Her poor brave boy. She turned to look at him, so handsome like his father. “Of course I need you. Of course I do. And I always will.” She turned off the cocoa and poured them each a mug. She offered him one and sat down with hers at the table. “Do you want to talk about it?”

He blew on his cocoa and took a sip. “What’s the use? You’re his number one fan. You adopted him a long time ago, Mom. But I didn’t.” He slumped into a chair at the table.

She took his hand. “No Matty, that’s not it. He was my friend a long time ago and he’s my friend now. Don’t you think he needs a friend?”

“Yeah, but why does it have to be you?”

Tears welled in her eyes. “Because I remember him. I remember him before, when he was strong and alive. Because I remember the day he went to war. Because I remember what he gave – to me – to our country. Just like your dad.”

Matthew could hardly contain himself. “He is not like my father.”

“Yes he is, honey. He is just like your father. He cared more about his country and his friends and family than himself and he walked into danger with his eyes and heart open to stand up for us. Your dad didn’t come back. But Dillon did. You can’t blame him for that.”

Matthew wanted to cry but fought it. “I don’t blame him for that. I blame him for being nuts. Everybody knows he’s crazy. Everybody but you!”

“I don’t care if everyone else in the world thinks that. I don’t and I never will. I don’t turn my back on my friends and neither did your father.”

Tears streamed down Matthew’s face. He shook his head.

Emma took his hands and held them tight. “Honey, you’re not a baby anymore. You can’t just pout and be mad because things aren’t the way you want them to be. No matter how much you wish your dad was here, he isn’t going to be. Can’t you see that by honoring Dillon, you honor your dad? Can’t you see that Daddy would have wanted you to be Dillon’s friend?” She cried. “Matthew, they were brothers – bound by their common oath. By the sacrifice they both made. We’re so sad that Daddy didn’t come home – but we should celebrate that Dillon did.”

Matthew shook his head and couldn’t look at her. “I don’t think I can, Mom.”

“But you have to try, honey.”

“Why?”

“For Dad. And for all the other dads who didn’t come home.”

Matthew put his head down on the table and let himself cry.

Emma stroked his hair. “He needs us, we’re all he’s got!”

Matthew raised his head and wiped at his tears. “He embarrasses me. All the guys make fun of him and us.

She smiled. “People can be mean, but maybe…” She lit up. “Oh Matt, if you could see him now, in the Square. He’s just come alive. Everybody has just, I don’t know, rallied around him. You’d be so proud of him! Your dad would be too. Really!”

Matthew felt changed. Willing to take what she said on faith. Maybe she was right. Maybe his dad would have wanted him to believe too.

“Please, honey. Just come with me. “Let me show you.”

“Do I have to?”

“No, you don’t have to,” Emma said.

He shrugged and got to his feet. “Better get your coat.” He put on his Yankees’ cap. “It’s getting cold.”

*

Emma was stunned by how much the crowd had grown. It was as if this horrible day had brought them all together like a family.

As they moved slowly through the gathering, Matthew took Emma’s hand and squeezed it. Whatever it was that she had felt, embraced him now and he felt safe.

When finally they reached the tarnished hero, Matthew saw his own tears mirrored in Dillon’s bright eyes. “Go Yankees!” Dillon smiled. Matthew fell into Dillon’s arms and wept for himself, for his father and for Dillon.

copyright 2006