Lily-livered Chicken Littles

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
- Franklin Delano Roosevelt, First Inaugural Address, 4 March 1933


On a beautiful September morning a few years ago I listened as Katie Couric was signing off Today on NBC when suddenly her tone changed and she said, “We have breaking news …”

As I sat that day and on the days that followed as one of the saddest events of my lifetime unfolded on the screen, the words from “Apocalypse Now” kept a steady beat in my head.

“The horror. The horror.”

Almost 3,000 persons of many nationalities and faiths lost their lives that day. We mourn them still. Will the legacy be the loss or will it be the incalculable acts of bravery that day?

Bravery is not what we are seeing as each new report of threatened terrorism makes us tremble in fear. And makes the terrorists winners.

To date, 5,783 American souls have been lost in wars fought for what? Revenge? Protection?

There are other wars to be fought in this country, numerous wars against life-snuffing diseases, illiteracy, poverty, environmental disaster, bigotry, corruption, crime and so many more ailments which threaten quality of life and the very existence of our democracy.

Can we fight these wars if we are a bunch of lily-livered Chicken Littles who cower under the thumbs of a relatively few religious fanatics who would just as soon see us frightened as to see us dead?

Or, can't we honor the legacy of Todd Beamer or Mark Bingham or Rick Rescorla or Louis Arena or Salvatore Papasso or hundreds of others who sacrificed themselves that day for the safety of others? They knew they faced death.

The 5,783 Americans lost in war knew they faced death.

So, what will it be? The home of the brave or a nation brought down by fear itself?


paula said...

Wow, thank you BJ for setting us straight.

Tiny pondering said...

BJ, Tiny agrees with your fear and bravery assessment. Seldom do we hear of the brave people in any country. We hear about the approximate 4% who create "the horror."t urn on the TV and you hear the fear mongering day and night.

Tiny has questions: If we are the land of the free and home of the brave, why are Native Americans on reservations? Why are radicals adamant about not letting Mexicans come back to this country? Why all the flack about the Islamic people who live here. And why do people think that God will bless America and not bless the rest of his/her creations on this planet?

These are questions Tiny ponders, but has found no logical answers to them. However, she does think too much time is spent on talking about the negative and creating fear for vested interests of a few who grapple for power positions.

Thanks, BJ, for pointing out the lack of recognition for those who are brave enough to sacrifice themselves for others.

We might also mention that it took 10 years for those vested interest politicians to grant health care and compensation to the 9/11 brave rescuers who sacrificed themselves for the benefit of others.

Jerry Critter said...

Tiny, you are so right. And look at who was in power for most of those 10 years.

Tiny said...

In case you didn't get BJ's message about a brave society and not just our rescue workers, military etc, or get to see the Stewart/Cobert rally on the DC Mall, perhaps the following two quotes will be of further help for society at large:

"Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe."
Frederick Douglass

Question: How many people have lost their jobs and homes due to the last administration? They sure can attest to the words of Frederick Douglas.

"Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us"
Calvin & Hobbes quote by Bill Watterson

Be good to yourself and vote Tuesday to move the Country forward instead of backward. And, to send the fear mongers back to their dens where they can listen to their own echoes instead of shouting them over the air waves.

Let's be brave peacemakers and spread this kind of contagion.