Sunday, December 07, 2003

That Infamous Sunday



My wife, parents and I spent this past thanksgiving weekend in a cabin on the Eastern Shore. One day we drove up to Salisbury, MD to visit my motherís aunt and uncle. Over lunch, we chatted about the usual family gossip and goings on. It was the usual mixture of pleasant familial nostalgia and awkward inability to relate to elderly family members. Especially when talking with Great Uncle Roy, age 85, who has memory problems. The doctor isnít sure if itís first stage Alzheimerís, the result of a minor heart attack he had several years ago or just the onset of senility. Whatever the case, Uncle Roy would forget my name one moment, call me by my brotherís name the next and then turn around and talk to me just like normal. It was akin to having a conversation with two identical brothers, one sharp as ever, the other very obviously not long for this world.

Uncle Roy may not have remembered my name, but he could not forget where he was December 7, 1941. As it turns out, Uncle Roy was in Savannah, GA that day. My wife and I currently live in Savannah (or rather, Elvira lives there now while Iím in MD attending grad school. Another story for another time). On December 6, 1941, Uncle Roy and a Navy buddy were on leave from the Marine base just across the river in Hilton Head, SC. They came out of their hotel the next morning in search of some breakfast and were stopped by a man on the street who told them theyíd better get back to the base.

ìWhyís that?î my uncle asked the man.

ìWhy?î replied the man, îThe Japs just bombed pearl Harbor!î

We donít call them Japs any more, we call them friends. I canít help but wince every time I hear this story but thatís my problem as a conditioned child of the nineties. I donít want to offend anyone with racial slurs. But then, as little Annie Coulter will tell you, Iím just a treasonous liberal. If I were a true blue Conservative like her, I wouldnít have problems with overt racism from a bygone era.

Uncle Roy, despite his age and senility, will always call them Japs and I donít fault him for it. Because he will also always remember what he was called on to do during World War Two. Not even senility can dull the red hot glare of those memories.

Itís supremely unfortunate that my Uncle is having his Veterans benefits cut by the AWOL coward currently residing in the White House. Youíd think, what with Poppy Bush also being a WWII vet, that George would be a little more thoughtful about where he makes his budget cuts so he can give his rich friends more money. But then, Daddy Bush isnít exactly short of the long green either, unlike my Uncle Roy.

Did I also mention he fought in Korea?

So yes Anne, you foul mouthed bitch (and all you other mealy mouthed sideways talking Neocons), I support our troops. I do not however support the despicable attempts by Our Glorious Leader to co-opt their achievements and their suffering for crass political gains. That is why I will do everything in my power to remove him from office come next November. Iíll do it for the vets Bush uses only as a cheep photo op and Iíll do it for my unborn children, so they wonít have to grow up in a Neocon police State. I do it for me and for my wife and for everyone else who wants to move this country forward into the twenty First century, not back to the squalor and entitlement-for-the-rich-only of the Nineteenth.

So on this, the most Infamous Sunday, go and visit your own Uncle Roy. Take a moment to think long and hard about what it is you really want out of a Democracy. Then act.

Regime change truly does begin at home.

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