Thursday, September 11, 2008

Flying the Flag

Today at our house I am flying the flag in honor and memory of Dana Falkenberg, Zoe Falkenberg, and their Mom and Dad, Leslie Whittington and Charlie Falkenberg, one entire family, friends of my brother’s family. All four died when terrorists committed the heinous crime of crashing their plane, Flight 77, into the Pentagon on Sep 11, 2001. Dana was 3 years old and Zoe was 8 years old.

And the flag flies in honor and memory of my uncle Jack. He died on this date in 2002.

And the flag flies in honor and memory of all those who serve, and have served, to protect us and protect our civil rights. This was not as important to me before Sep 11, 2001. On that date, I suddenly realized that I had enemies. One enemy is the fear that works to let us give up our civil liberties. I can say this easily, since I have some sense of security. I don’t know that I would feel the same way if I felt directly threatened at this moment. Benjamin Franklin purportedly said, “Anyone who trades liberty for security deserves neither liberty nor security.” Is it possible to have both liberty and security?

I like to use this day to go about doing ordinary activities, but dedicate those ordinary activities to the Falkenberg family, who, but for that crime on that beautiful cloudless September day 7 years ago, would be doing the ordinary activities that an American family does.