All I Want for Christmas is No More War

Will we ever get over the absence of the World Trade Center towers in the downtown skyline? No, never.

But because I’m a fan of TV shows and films from the grittier 1970s, lately I’ve been watching re-runs of the old cop show Cagney and Lacey.

The opening credits of every episode features a dramatic panorama:  a shot of the Brooklyn Bridge spanning the width of the river, and the Twin Towers.

Sometimes, seeing those towers standing as if nothing ever happened just hurts.

Just the other day at work, my boss was rooting through a desk drawer looking for leftover Christmas cards from years prior, extras we might send to our non-email-receiving clients.

He pulled out an oldie — a photo of the downtown skyline, the Towers still standing. It gave us pause.

“I guess we can’t send this one,” he said, quietly.

With our troops coming home from Iraq, in time for Christmas Eve, it’s almost impossible not to reflect on the meaning of the war, the Towers, the past 10 years, terrorism, all of it.

Will it upset some people if I wonder aloud: Why were we ever there? Where will these soldiers find employment? What about all the injured? How will they possibly manage in this economy and will such an egregious lack of support? What has really changed as a result of our presence in Iraq? How many of these soldiers will be sent back to Afghanistan? Why are we in Afghanistan?

Fair questions, I believe, which in no way diminish the dedicated work and extraordinary bravery of our soldiers.

Last year, as a gift to me, my boss made a donation in my name into a fund set aside for soldiers. When a soldier calls home from the Middle East, the cost of the call doesn’t have to come out of his or her own pocket and will be paid for by the fund.

It was a nice thing to do, to honor the soldiers and their profound contribution to us all.

The thing is, I can’t believe that our  government would actually charge soldiers for these phone calls.

In the meantime, Merry Christmas, Newt Gingrich (feel free to substitute the name of any politician). Make sure to buy your helmet-headed wife an obscenely expensive trinket at Tiffany’s while soldiers beg, borrow and steal to call home.

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One Response to “All I Want for Christmas is No More War”

  1. oh Says:

    Thanks for writing this, Sue. Thanks for sharing the moment when your boss paused over the old Xmas card and said it couldn’t be sent.

    There are those who tsk and shake their heads at “the old hippy” mantra – peace and love as they climb their steps to faux power and temporary useless fame.

    May peace and love never be dismissed as a cliche. And may we learn to care for and honor those who’ve seen any war horror or strife. All wounds are not visible. We cannot stop caring.

    Peace.

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