By Randle Loeb on Jun 9, 2008 | In Caring and Surviving, Citizenship and Stewards By Randle Loeb
Where Were You the Night That We Lost Our Freedom at the Advent of the Bombing of 9/11?
The week before September 11, 2001 I was getting out of a hospital having been in a coma. I nearly successfully committed suicide. As I stared at the television, Mr. Bush was reading to a group of children in elementary school. His time had arrived, whether warranted or not, to dismantle the American judicial system and the balance of power of the government.
In that awful moment it was clear that these innocent men and women had sacrificed their lives while my own life hung in the balance. I was living in a shelter plus care unit at 1205 Washington St. in Anchor I, housing for homeless individuals who had been living on the street. It was transitional housing in a single room.
In the aftermath of the violence of September 11, 2001 America changed with the implementation of the Patriot Act and Homeland Security. At the time I was writing about this for the Denver Homeless Voice. The articles condemning the enactment of these draconian laws filled the pages of the paper. Even now it is clear that terror and not patriots rule us.
The invasion of Iraq was a brutal and foolish military blunder. The unapologetic despots of this country invaded Afghanistan with fury and vengeance, which was a terrible misadventure. We lost our faith in the principles of our Bill of Rights and the privilege that we have all felt for decades. Where were you the eventual day that the bombs of “shock and awe” were unleashed with the eradiated munitions? What were you doing? In all of these horrors the greatest casualties are always children, and yet, the other tragedy is that people lost hope in the prospect of their lives ever being their own to live.
I remember writing and speaking out against the oppression of people no different than you and me. I remember the gutless reaction of life long friends and mentors who cut me off as though I was demented when I said, "I am ashamed of this nation's militarism."
There is nothing patriotic in destroying our neighbors and reeking havoc on a civilization as old as humanity. I still hear individuals decry the fact that they see us bringing these hoards out of chaos and backward thinking. We are supposedly bringing them democracy at a very dear price. While we are liberating these people we are destroying our country.
Where are you six years after the invasion of these sovereign nations when the military asserts that it will stay there with fifty bases? What is going to happen to those who are living in poverty? Will you stand up for the rights of anyone here or abroad and speak up for each other? “When they came for me there was no one left to protest.” These are the words of a theologian who was taken away to prison. At last, we must all ask, "Where is our moral courage?"
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