Friday, April 22, 2005

Guilt Pt 1

I watch the News Hour as often as I can. Usually every day. I tape it.

Since the wars started they have been doing this tribute at the end of the program. It is called The Honor Roll. The Honor Roll is a listing of the US Soldiers that have been killed that previous day, or at least what has been reported by the military. They put up in silence a picture of the soldier with their name, age, branch, rank and hometown. They flash it up there for us to see. To witness. They do this every day they release casualty reports. It is usually at the end of every newscast. Sometimes there are one or two. Sometimes there is no Honor Roll. Sometimes it can be over a dozen.

At first, what, two-three years ago or so I would watch this and think about the sacrifice. Now without thinking I instinctually pick up the remote because I want to fast forward through it, turn it off or stop the tape. I do it instinctually because I feel it is boring piece. Kind of like a news story on pills for the elderly.

I feel awful because I have to force myself to stop pressing any buttons on the remote and watch it. It is hard. I look at the faces. They are mostly men. Some are my age and older. Some are younger. Sometimes only 18, 19. Some are guys well into their 30s even 40s and sometimes even older.

I am having difficulty paying attention to it. I have been turning my head not wanting to watch it. There were about nine the other day. This is screwed up. I want to witness. To see. But it is hard. It is hard when I see the faces of healthy men. I see the towns they are from. I think about their families. Their lives. Their dreams. And now they are dead. They have made the ultimate sacrifice. How are we honoring them?

I feel awful. Every time I watch the news. It is just a number now. They say ten. Five. Six. Two. Fifteen. Then I see it. It is no secret.

Are we even aware of what we are doing? Do we really take note? Is there honor for these men and women in our everday lives?

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