Thursday, December 30, 2004

And Still we ask...

...when soldiers are killed or return home badly hurt, where are the Bush people? Can't go to a funeral... oh no, far too many of those. It would look bad, you know.

The families lingered there, took in the high honors, in a daze and before a large crowd, and walked on. Then they stepped solemnly back into their worlds of private grief, back to staring at the unopened Christmas presents, re-reading the last e-mail messages, replaying in their minds the last telephone conversations or the lyrics from the music the soldiers loved, whether it was Sting, Boyz II Men or slow jazz, reconstructing every moment of the last time they saw the soldiers alive or kicking themselves for not having a last talk. Out of the public eye, the families went back, after the service, to their complicated struggle over what fate and war had delivered to this one unlucky pocket of people, to, in some cases, doubting the war itself, back to asking questions that could not be answered quickly enough.

Where are the Bush people?

A few days before the bombing that killed him, Specialist Castro called his mother, who was worried. "He said, 'Don't worry, Mama, I'm not going to die in a foreign country.' "

Don't know where they are, but wherever, damn them to hell.

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