Yesterday was a busy day. I woke sore, packed a lot of activity into the day, and returned home, late, tired, and about ready for bed.
Unusually, I didn’t spend any time watching the memorials, either.
It’s not that I didn’t care. It’s not even that I was tired of the attention paid to the heroes and victims.
Instead, I started to think about the normal progression of American memory.
Other than the South, and among politicians eager to ‘wave the bloody shirt’ for votes, the Civil War memorials assumed less importance very shortly after. The continued rush of immigrants from Europe and Asia (particularly China) brought that issue to the surface, and, in some ways, provided a substitute for the intense fervor of the pre-CW and War Years.
During that run-up, there were more than a few overeducated people – many of them women – who found no suitable mate to equal their exalted sense of self. They threw themselves into Good Works (whether connected to a church or not), Abolition, and other time-consuming activities that filled their lonely days and nights.
Gee, sounds more than a little like the Woke, doesn’t it?
Well, the War MORE than fulfilled their aims. Some of them went down to the defeated South after it ended, to put all their theories about how to uplift the ‘Darkies’ into practice.
It didn’t take long for the CW-Woke to become hopelessly disillusioned about reforming the South into a more perfect society. They were incapable of teaching those who were illiterate, found that the Reconstruction governments were as corrupt as any other, and that the lives of so many of the freed slaves quickly returned to a similar social and economic status that they’d had before.
Some Black people benefited. Many of them were those that got the hell out of Dodge, and went west for greater opportunities. But, there were also some who managed to make their way into a comfortable social and financial state.
Which left many of the reformers with little to no purpose in life.
What took the place of agitating for the abolition of slavery? For the older crowd, not much. A few went into other endeavors, but most were like the fictional Aunt Pittypat, and lived off the generosity of their relatives, sticking their noses into everything they could. You know the kind – you love them for their good points, but you also roll your eyes at them when they go off on their rants.
Kinda like listening to Cousin Moonbeam, extolling the virtues of solar energy (but, not actually contributing to the expense of putting a system in).
Many Americans, and immigrants, were heading to the West. There was opportunity, and the younger people responded by picking up and moving. The news still moved slowly, and local/regional news dominated peoples’ attention. They were aware of events happening east of the Mississippi, but it didn’t have the same immediacy as the life they faced in their new homes.
I was the same, growing up in the 50s. I knew my father and many other family members had fought in WWII, but, other than telling some funny stories about their experiences, they had little to say – they were focused on the here and now. Making a living, buying homes, raising children.
Even the Korean War had little impact on me. I was only 1 when it ended. The Cuban Missile Crisis was the first time adults discussed a defense issue with us. Mostly, that was ‘parent talk’, and they kept us out of the discussion.
I remember having teachers in middle school who had fought in WWII or Korea. They seemed amazed at how little we knew about the events of that time, other than “Hitler BAD!”.
For most younger people – under 30 – 9/11 is just ‘something that happened’ a very long time ago. Ilhan’s perspective isn’t that unusual.
We’ve moved from a culture that made men who didn’t volunteer to fight feel ashamed of themselves, to one in which those who don’t volunteer think of the military as filled with ‘chumps’.
So many of the ‘Woodstock Generation’ raised kids that didn’t even consider the military. My own son bucked that norm – he’d gone to MLK’s Law and Public Service magnet in Cleveland, and, despite the staff’s pro-left inclinations, he had a friend who planned to join the Navy.
So, he was open to the idea.
When I first heard that he’d joined, I was aghast (this was pre-9/11). He had looked seriously at the potential for him, and persuaded us that he knew what he was doing.
He served actively for 6 years, and was inactive for 2 more. What he learned in his MOS was skills he still uses in his job. With not even a two year degree (he attended for a brief period), he has bought a house, provided for family, and achieved a comfortable level of living.
But the benefits weren’t as interesting as the experiences, and the desire to serve his country.
His sister later joined the Army, and married another military member.
And, others experienced the same, after 9/11. Pity that the politicians couldn’t be bothered to manage the wars better – I very much blame the Leftist ROE (Rules of Engagement) for much of the lack of success in the outcomes. And, the takeover by the Woke contingent has virtually guaranteed that the military will NOT be an option for Normals in the future.
I will never forgive them for their cavalier attitude towards deaths and injuries to OUR troops, while admonishing soldiers about any casualties to the enemy. Nor will I forgive the continued screwups by the VA (SOME facilities, and medical/nursing staff, are terrific – my son-in-law had superb care with his treatment for cancer. The facilities that suck continue to suck).
The meltdown that caused so many deaths and casualties in Afghanistan, and led to some people being evacuated who shouldn’t have been, while leaving Americans behind, is something that needs to lead to a major shakeup in the brass – and, by that, I mean court-martials and resignations/discharges under less than honorable conditions.
In any future efforts to control dissident Americans, we must remember – today’s military is NOT our ally. They will go along with anti-Constitutional actions without a qualm.
So, that’s the long story about why I didn’t reflect on 9/11. I’m currently more focused on a future where the guys in uniform are out to GET people like me.