Saturday, September 10, 2011

I Became My Mother Today

Years ago, when there were only three television networks and PBS and the remote control was one of the kids in the room, a commercial aired that reviewed history while panning from the top of a redwood tree to the bottom. It showed the time of Moses crossing the Red Sea, the American Revolution, the Civil War, and then an announcer said, "We interrupt this broadcast to bring you a special news bulletin. The Japanese have bombed Pearl Harbor, Hawaii."

My mother, who had lived through the Great Depression and had heard the radio reports on December 7th, was lying on her bed reading when the commercial aired. She heard the announcement and cried out, "Oh, no! Not again!" My brother, sisters, and I started laughing because it was just a commercial and it was thirty years or more after the fact. Mom was very angry and no doubt embarrassed at being upset that the memories were brought up so unexpectedly.

Many times over the passing years, I've thought of that moment with amusement knowing I would never have such a moment. After all, I have always been far too aware of history and current events for my mind to fool me that a rerun as an original event. Until today.

The last few days, authorities have been investigating an "unconfirmed credible threat" to the nation possibly involving car or truck bombs, and maybe even a dirty nuclear bomb targeting New York City or Washington, D.C.  I've not paid too much  attention because an "unconfirmed credible threat" doesn't strike me as very definite. This afternoon, I turned on the television that was tuned to FOX from the previous night and was confronted with the sight of frantic Capital police yelling for panicked people to run from the buildings, quickly clear the area, there are reports of secondary bombs.

"Oh no! Not again!"

That was actually my second reaction after I recovered from the sudden rush of panic inducing chemicals to my brain. After several moments, less than a minute, I realized the "news report" was part of the FOX channel documentary programming for the 9/11 Ten Year Anniversary. I recalled my mother's reaction so many years ago and felt foolish for having laughed at her. The Japanese had attacked us once and history often rhymes with itself years later. We were at war in Vietnam then; we are at war with Islamists now. In both of our experiences, a repeat attack is not beyond imagining. The only difference is that today, the threat from Islam and Muslims is still very real, so real that authorities are right now searching for three Muslims, two of whom are reputed American citizens, who are suspected of attempting to plant vehicle dirty bombs in major cities to kill more people than we've ever experienced on home soil. I am hoping the reports are only paranoia, but paranoia doesn't mean the threat isn't real.

And old memories, well, they come back as a reality all their own. My mother was transformed by an act of savagery in her time;  I have been molded by an act of savagery in my time. It's not so far fetched to expect savages to continue acting like savages. Islamism is not a perversion of religion; Islam is a religion of perversion. I am offended to be told to never forget 9/11. I cannot, I will not, forget 9/11. Just as my mother's generation cannot forgive and forget what was done to them, neither can I forgive Islam for 9/11 and what it has done to me.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.


Anonymous said...

Really good piece.

I think, when people say, "Never forget," they know that there's no danger that most of us would, and that those who would, will, anyway.

Michael Adams

Always On Watch said...

Wow! This is a fantastic essay, IR.

9/11 changed my life in so many ways. Were it not for 9/11, I'd still be "sleeping" and ignoring politics.

My mother loved to participate in talk radio. I promised myself that I'd never be like my mother.

Well, today I blog and host an Internet radio show. I'm sure that Mom fully understands why I have to do these things.