Remembering Two 9/11’s

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Eleven years ago today my dad and I went fishing. He was retired and I was pastoring a small church in the Milwaukee area. One of the upsides in pastoring that church is that I could see my aging parents once a week. Dad like to shore fish and sometimes he would come to my house which was close to Lake Michigan and we’d head to the lake to wet a line. We never caught anything but that was not the point. It was just good to be with dad and “shoot the baloney” as he would put it. After fishing we’d go to lunch and continue the baloney shooting. There is nothing remarkable about any of this except for the date. It was 9\11\2001.

We had finished fishing, again having caught nothing, and got in the car. I turned the radio on and neither of us could believe our ears-a large plane had crashed into one of the twin towers in New York City. Was it an accident, was it a pilot suicide, what the hec just happened were the questions that swirled about in our minds.

We arrived at my house and turned on the television. We witnessed the second aircraft crashing into the second tower. The sight of the second plane crashing into the second tower answered our questions. It was not an accident but it was a pilot suicide although not of the type we originally guessed. We surmised, quite rightly, that the US had been attacked by Islamic terrorists.

The moment it dawned on us it was no accident and that we'd probably go to war.

The moment it dawned on us it was no accident and that we’d probably go to war.

At this point my dad left to go home to be with my mother. They both had lived through World War 2 and my dad had served at the war’s end. My dad made comments about Pearl Harbor and wanted to be with mom when he shared the news. He also shared concern about his grandson (my son) who was in his early twenties at the time and what it all meant should the US go to war.

After then President Bush said that we’d go after the terrorists wherever they might be found as well as the countries that hid them my dad nodded his approval even though it might have meant his grandson could be part of that going after. It was clear cut in dad’s mind and he was not the kind of guy who was inclined to Republican views. Never-the-less, in his mind Bush was absolutely right and never mind that dad didn’t particularly like him.

I think dad’s mindset was that of what is now called the “greatest generation.” The generation that lived through the great depression and World War 2 and knew that sometimes a country had to go war even while it most certainly preferred peace. To dad and most of his generation it was simply a matter of right versus wrong, wrong to let Americans die at the hands of terrorists and do nothing.

Mom passed away in 2004 and dad in 2006 so neither witnessed the election of President Obama. I doubt they would have voted for him because they were pro-life Catholics and while they leaned Democrat they could not longer tolerate the massacre of a different type of innocent-the unborn.

Had my father lived through 9/11/12 I wonder what his reaction would have been to Benghazi and the murder of four Americans by a different set of Islamic terrorists.

English: President George W. Bush and Presiden...

English: President George W. Bush and President-elect Barack Obama meet in the Oval Office of the White House Monday, November 10, 2008. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Big Difference!

The cover-up, the false narrative of what happened and why, the Secretary of State saying, “what difference does it make” and the fact the administration let our people die would have enraged dad.

But, we are a different country now. The greatest generation is quickly passing away and along with it a collective ability to judge some things simply as right and wrong and act accordingly. I suspect that dad should he still be alive would more concerned with his grandson and his growing family and what kind of country they are inheriting.

My dad, 1946 on duty as MP in occupied Germany.

My dad, 1946 on duty as MP in occupied Germany.


Seeing Through Lies

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As a pastoral counselor I sometimes have to ask people uncomfortable questions. The questions are often a follow-up to a prior statement they have made and I’ve come to suspect truthfulness of that statement.

On rare occasion a person will express outrage at the asking. The outrage is almost always a mask-a mask for a lie.

The reason for the outrage is not genuine anger but rather an attempt to intimidate me into silence and to cover their own tracks.

Such was the case in my opinion when Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin questioned Secretary of State Hilary Clinton about Benghazi. Senator Johnson asked a legitimate question and Secretary Clinton exploded with the now famous “what difference does it make?”

In the real world finding out why our embassy was attacked on the anniversary of 9/11 would be important and key in understanding what we might be up against.

But not in Clinton’s world, nor the President’s. Instead of a straight answer we received the feigned outrage of someone caught in tangled web of lies.

The most disturbing aspect of the story is not the obvious deception it’s the fact the deception does not seem to matter to more than half of the population.

When President Nixon was caught in a pack of lies people on both sides of the aisle were indignant, expecting the truth from our leaders. In fact, Jimmy Carter ran against Gerald Ford, Nixon’s successor, by stating he would never lie to the American people. I did not like Carter as a President but do give him credit for taking such a stand.

Now it appears that lying at the highest levels of government is acceptable. I guess we should not be surprised it came from a Clinton-a Clinton whose husband went on national television lying about an affair. The then Mrs. Clinton accused the accusers of her husband of being part of a vast right-wing conspiracy. No doubt Senator Ron Johnson is part of the vast right-wing conspiracy.

Sadly, because the Clinton’s are progressives their lies appear to be acceptable to more than half the population because after all, they care.

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