Transitional Fossil

" The question isn't "who is going to let me"; it's "who is going to stop me".
Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


Went to the post office the other day. For those of us who live under the radar the post office is a haven of anonymity. Money orders, post office boxes. The tools to a freedom of existence and transactions.
Arriving at my local haven I notice a straggler taking in a symbol, completing the routine of their daily dudgery. The symbol has
changed meanings for me and countless others over the course of centuries. The symbol has exemplified defiance, freedom, victory and, even to some, oppression. That symbol is the American flag.
It was being taken down off the pole in front of the post office and not folded in its usually manner but part of it dragged against the soggy wet ground. The tail sloshed along in the muddled snow following its caretaker, or proxy. I thought of saying something, though my hesitation put the moment of action farther out of reach.
As I pulled into the parking lot I saw a man getting out of his jeep. The bumper and rear window of his vehicle, the front of his hat, and entire back of his jacket were covered in the crest of the United States Marines. And I thought, how would this man react to the flag being dragged. How would he react to my silence. Would either or both, have dishonored his sacrifice and those of countless others.
Tonight as I listened to the words of our president, and watch the faces of generals, and on-lookers, I thought of that man. The man in the parking lot. I heard the words later of a congressman who spoke of an overwhelming majority of Senators, Representatives, elected officials, military personnel, and citizens who were opposed to a war brought about by lies. All who oppose their country's present position of aggression.
We drape this flag on the caskets of the fallen to honor there sacrifice. But what has fallen is meaning of that sacrifice. Their memories, soiled and discarded. If I looked into the eyes of that man in the parking lot, what would they say??
The flag ripples in the night. The cries of the many go unheard, upwards Our warriors go unreturned to their beloved land.
My hesitation, my silence, the voice reflected in the sky.


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