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Thursday, October 1, 2009

My Grandpa Knew That

Never Forget.

I received an email, announcing the arrival of 700 Marines in New York on November seventh, from my cousin. Her son is a Marine; he has served two tours of duty in Iraq, and she is proud.

We have a long history of fighting for our homelands. My uncles escaped service because, like their father, both were alcoholics and color blind; but my cousins served: Cipriano Montes (World War II), Gilbert Tamayo, Bobby Tamayo, and Frank "Babe" Rodriquez (Vietnam).

My cousins' email proudly announced, in blue boldface size 16 font: It was built with 24 tons of scrap steel from the World Trade Center. It is the fifth in a new class of warship—designed for missions that include special operations against terrorists. It will carry a crew of 360 sailors and 700 combat-ready Marines to be delivered ashore by helicopters and assault craft.

Steel from the World Trade Center was melted down in a foundry in Amite, LA to cast the ship's bow section. When it was poured into the molds on Sept. 9, 2003, "those big rough steelworkers treated it with total reverence," recalled Navy Capt. Kevin Wensing, who was there. "It was a spiritual moment for everybody there."

Junior Chavers, foundry operations manager, said that when the trade center steel first arrived, he touched it with his hand and the "hair on my neck stood up. It had big meaning to it for all of us, " he said. "They knocked us down. They can't keep us down. We're going to be back."

The email concluded with this request: Please keep this going so everyone can see what we are made of in this country! Blessed are those who have one hand held by God and the other held by a friend!

I keep asking myself who could think of this.

Never Forget.

The official US Navy sight says the Commissioning Ceremony of PCU New York (scheduled for November 7th, 2009 at the Intrepid Museum Pier 88 South, Pier 86 North NYC, NY), "is the occasion when the ship will 'Come Alive" and the New York becomes USS New York.

When the ship was Christened, on the first of March, 2008, in Avondale LA, Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England offered the follow "remarks:" "These three ships (USS Arlington, USS Somerset, the USS New York) stand for 'life, liberty. . . and the pursuit of all who threaten it' and will ensure that we never forget. . . 11 September 2001."

President Bush, the born again, inspired the ship's motto "Strength forged through sacrifice. Never Forget." when he visited the Pentagon on September 12, the day after the towers were struck down. He told those at the meeting, "I will never forget." And he continued by going around the room, looking at each person, his eye to theirs repeating, "never forget."

During the ship's Christening England went on to say, "Ultimately what will win the war on terror—like the cold war—are the choices people make, whether the terrorists' path of violence, or the far better path of Peace, Democracy, and Development."

Never forget language.

Never forget the way we live matters.

I still cannot fully comprehend this Frankenstein project: transforming the refuse of the Twin Towers into a war ship, Christening this weapon, and then bringing it to life in a public ceremony.

Everyone knows the Marine's motto: When it absolutely has to be destroyed over night.

Never forget our genocide is not complete.

The earth is our mother. She sustains us and any livelihood founded on her destruction is unequivocally self annihilating. Contemporary society is very pleased with itself, extolling the superiority of its skill set and the victory of technology over hunting, gathering and agrarian lives.

Deloria and Wildcat remind us that our ancestors judged their spiritual and intellectual development when "people could recognize an imbalance and address it as a society of interrelated people."

The attack on the Twin Towers clearly reflected an imbalance.

In his book Inquiries Into the Nature of Slow Money: Investing as if Food, Farms, and Fertility Mattered, Woody Tasch asks his readers to commit to a few basic ideological truths: "We need to discover ways of thinking and speaking that can put economics in its place. . . In our devotion to money, market, and machine, we are destroying not only the fertility of the soil, but the fertility of our imaginations."

Slow Money as a philosophy offers a redress to our current imbalances by non violent action. These non violent acts are a greater threat to this nation than any weapon yet manufactured by the US Military because they place the relationships between people, plants and animals at the center of all thought and all activity.

Tasch continues: "Advocacy revolving around agrarianism and around appropriate scale and appropriate technology. . . are part of the broader historical movement toward the possibility that one day, non-violence might trump violence as an organizing principle for the affairs of man."

Never forget: We are children of earth. Who are they?

About Me

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I believe we can be more beautiful than broken. Devotion to language and literature, stories and storytelling, writing and reading will restore humanity and heal severed relations. There is no alibi in being.