Friday, November 9, 2007

Open The Blinds

Sunday, November 11th, 2007 is Veterans Day. This week's blog is somewhat of a struggle. There are a lot of great war books out now and what better time to promote them than Veterans Day? We could have a giant Veterans Day sale in the store to bring in lots of customers to spend lots of money! I have seen the ads. With the market the way it is, retailers need to make sales any way they can. That's business and I understand completely.

That does not mean I agree. Veterans Day is intended to thank veterans for their service, to acknowledge that their contributions are appreciated, and to understand the fact that all those who served - not only those who died - have sacrificed and done their duty. Who am I to try and profit from another's sacrifice?

Instead, this week I would like to share something I received by e-mail, which can be found at this link. I don't know who the author is and only hope I am not breaking any copyright laws by reprinting this. If anyone has any more information about this piece, please share. This touched me deeply and I hope it does the same for you.

Open The Blinds

The other day, my nine year old son wanted to know why we were at war... My husband looked at our son and then looked at me. My husband and I were in the Army during the Gulf War and we would be honored to serve and defend our country again today. I knew that my husband would give him a good explanation. My husband thought for a few minutes and then told my son to go stand in our front living room window.

He said, "Son, stand there and tell me what you see?"

"I see trees and cars and our neighbors' houses," he replied.

"OK, now I want you to pretend that our house and our yard is the United States of America and you are President Bush."

Our son giggled and said, "OK."

"Now, son, I want you to look out the window and pretend that every house and yard on this block is a different country," my husband said.

"OK Dad, I'm pretending."

"Now I want you to stand there and look out the window and pretend you see Saddam come out of his house with his wife, he has her by the hair and is hitting her. You see her bleeding and crying. He hits her in the face, he throws her on the ground, then he starts to kick her to death. Their children run out and are afraid to stop him, they are screaming and crying, they are watching this but do nothing because they are kids and they are afraid of their father. You see all of this, son.... what do you do?"


"What do you do, son?"

"I'd call the police, Dad."

"OK. Pretend that the police are the United Nations. They take your call. They listen to what you know and saw but they refuse to help. What do you do then, son?"

"Dad....... but the police are supposed to help!" My son starts to whine.

"They don't want to, son, because they say that it is not their place or your place to get involved and that you should stay out of it," my husband says.

"But, Dad... he killed her!!" My son exclaims.

"I know he did... but the police tell you to stay out of it. Now I want you to look out that window and pretend you see our neighbor who you're pretending is Saddam turn around and do the same thing to his children."

"Daddy... he kills them?"

"Yes, son, he does. What do you do?"

"Well, if the police don't want to help, I will go and ask my next door neighbor to help me stop him," our son says.

"Son, our next door neighbor sees what is happening and refuses to get involved as well. He refuses to open the door and help you stop him," my husband says.

"But Dad, I NEED help!!! I can't stop him by myself!!"


Our sons starts to cry.

"OK, no one wants to help you, the man across the street saw you ask for help and saw that no one would help you stop him. He stands taller and puffs out his chest. Guess what he does next, son?"

"What, Daddy?"

"He walks across the street to the old lady's house and breaks down her door and drags her out, steals all her stuff and sets her house on fire and then... he kills her. He turns around and sees you standing in the window and laughs at you. WHAT DO YOU DO?"



Our son is crying and he looks down and he whispers, "I'd close the blinds, Daddy."
My husband looks at our son with tears in his eyes and asks him. "Why?"
"Because, Daddy... the police are supposed to help people who need them... and they won't help... You always said neighbors are supposed to HELP neighbors, but they won't help either... they won't help me stop him... I'm afraid.... I can't do it by myself, Daddy ...... I can't look out my window and just watch him do all these terrible things and ... and ... do nothing ... so ..... I'm just going to close the blinds ... so I can't see what he's doing . And I'm going to pretend that it is not happening."

I start to cry. My husband looks at our nine year old son standing in the window, looking pitiful and ashamed at his answers to my husband's questions. He says...."Son....."

"Yes, Daddy?"

"Open the blinds, because that man...... he's at your front door... WHAT DO YOU DO?"

My son looks at his father, anger and defiance in his eyes. He balls up his tiny fists and looks his father square in the eyes, and without hesitation he says, "I DEFEND MY FAMILY DAD!!! I'M NOT GONNA LET HIM HURT MOMMY OR MY SISTER, DAD!!! I'M GONNA FIGHT HIM, DAD, I'M GONNA FIGHT HIIM!!!!!"

I see a tear roll down my husband's cheek and he grabs our son to his chest and hugs him tight, and says.... "It's too late to fight him, he's too strong, and he's already at YOUR front door, son... you should have stopped him BEFORE he killed his wife, and his children, and the old lady across the way. You have to do what's right, even if you have to do it alone, before it's too late," my husband whispers. "THAT scenario I just gave you is WHY we are at war with Iraq. When good men stand by and let evil happen, son, THAT is the greatest mistake, believing that the atrocities in the world won't affect them. YOU MUST NEVER BE AFRAID TO DO WHAT IS RIGHT! EVEN IF YOU HAVE TO DO IT ALONE! BE PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN! BE PROUD OF OUR TROOPS!! SUPPORT THEM!!! SUPPORT AMERICA SO THAT IN THE FUTURE OUR CHILDREN WILL NEVER HAVE TO CLOSE THEIR BLINDS..."

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