01
Oct
10

We move on

It’s a new month. And now it’s over two months since Elemndorf AFB lost Capt Jeffrey Hill and three other beloved airmen in the crash of Sitka 43 on July 28th. My son was in Capt Hill’s Squadron, the 517th Firebirds.  They were friends. Capt Hill was the second of my son’s friends to die in less than a year.

This past week, Gary Sinese, the very pro-military actor,  unveiled a model C-17 as a memorial to the four airmen who died in the crash.

I didn’t hear about this on any news media. Not one word. It’s no longer newsworthy in the lower 48: we’ve moved on.

Tragedy strikes, four young lives are suddenly ended, and we’re shocked. We grieve. We try to find the right words to say to our loved ones, to get them through the process of death. From a distance, our hearts ache, knowing all too well, that it could have been our son. Our husband. Our brother. There is no human explanation for why one, and not the other.  It just is.

The days tumble by, in a blur, and all of a sudden a month has gone by, and then two.

We’re back to leading our normal, routine, predictable lives. We get up in the morning. Get ready. Go to work.  Work all day. Come home. Eat. Take care of our families. Read. Work a little more. Repeat.

We don’t face the lockers that used to house their gear.  We don’t have to delete that number we used to call from our cell phone’s directory. We don’t pass by the memorial, designed to makes us remember.

We continue. Just as we were before the tragedy, completely oblivious of all those risking their lives so we can routinely live ours. Moving on, we live.

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2 Responses to “We move on”


  1. October 3, 2010 at 11:23 am

    Jane,

    Thanks for your insights.

    I recall a moment of clarity when I was about 21 or 22. The First gulf war was on. I was sitting in bar with a bunch of college age twenty-somethings on a Friday night. I thought “We just go on like nothing is happening, but tens of thousands of people our age are fighting and dying right now as we sit here like nothing is happening. I wonder if anyone else thinks about this?” So I asked the guy next to me, “Do you ever think about all the guys over in Iraq, and what they’re going through?” He replied, “Nah, I try not to think about all that, it makes me depressed.”

    I know it was just one guy, but I assure you it is a common attitude. I realized at that moment, America wasn’t ready to deal with real hardship. We’re soft and spoiled and complacent. We want to fight a global war without letting the public feel bad about it, or get angry, or get offended. I don’t know what it will take to turn it around. Maybe if the few that are protecting us, let the average person feel more pain, then, with a little tough love, more of us will grow up.

  2. 2 applepiemom
    October 3, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    Hmmmmm. Maybe I’m just tired, but I don’t think Americans will ever learn. I think it’s in our DNA to be overly optimistic, and assume that time heals things and that we can change the world. I fear the world doesn’t want to be changed. The world, if anything, wants us to change.

    Today the State Department issued a travel alert for US citizens in Europe. http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-us-travel-alert-20101004,0,6319157.story
    An attack will happen again. Americans will die in a terrorist attack, even if on “foreign” soil. And then we’ll act like we can’t understand how people can do this to us. And we’ll be upset that our government didn’t protect the college students studying abroad, or the vacation traveler, or the businessman. There will be talk show discussing why the government didn’t DO more. But the government is us, and it’s up to each of us to DO.
    Soft – – that’s an understatement. I think we’re gelatinous.


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