Search This Blog

Showing posts with label 911. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 911. Show all posts

Saturday, December 5, 2020

America Undone - Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion



America Undone



When I was on my walk yesterday I encountered an old-lady who had fallen on the side walk. She was sitting on the ground halfway between Lake Street and 31st Street on Bryant Avenue, just a few houses away from her home, maybe fifty yards at most, but she was unable to get up on her own.


I noticed her just as soon as I crossed the street. When I got closer, she was looking at me, and though she didn’t say anything I could tell that she needed help. I stopped to ask her if she did.


She told me she had fallen, and I could see that she was scraped up, her knuckles were skinned and there was a little blood. There was a hematoma forming above her right eye at the temple, quite a good sized knot, quarter-sized in diameter and raised up just as much.


I asked her if she wanted me to call 911 for her, but she told me she lived just a few houses away. She could see her dog, a little brown haired malamute looking mutt, who was watching her from the yard.


I could see him too.


Her name is Susan and she told me that she had been sitting on the sidewalk unable to get up for about ten minutes while people passed by her, walked around her, and nobody offered to help. I saw that with my own eyes as I was approaching her. I watched a younger couple cross the street rather than come near her.


She told me that she is eighty years old, and that she had been living on the block for fifty years with her eighty-two year old husband. She was slightly in shock and she was crying as I helped her to her feet and walked her to her house.


I carried her bag and held her hand as we went, and I stayed with her until her husband came to the door.


I have to admit that I could understand and even empathize with anyone who had some trepidation about approaching her. While I was closing the distance between the corner of Lake and Bryant to where she was sitting on the sidewalk, I asked myself some questions, and considered some possibilities:


1.      I had to ask myself if I wanted to come in contact with her because of COVID, I was masked but she was not.


2.      I had to wonder if she was just a crazy person, because there are many of them around, and if that was the case, how would I be able to help.


3.      I had to wonder if it was some kind of grift going on, if she wasn’t going to try to scam me.


4.      I had to wonder if it wasn’t some kind of prelude to a mugging, because, well there has been a lot of that going on (though it didn’t seem likely).


I get it, there are lots of reasons to be wary, but what a sad commentary it is on the world we live in, on my city and my neighborhood that people would pass on old-lady by and not even ask her whether she needs help.


She cried all the way back to her house.


I am ashamed of America, if that kind of indifference is what passes for normal…what the hell.


Set your fears aside and do the right thing, if you see someone in trouble, young or old, if you see that they need them.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Flag Folding - Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion

Flag Folding

I am a veteran, but I am not super patriotic.

I am averse to jingoism in all of its forms.

I haven’t stood for the national anthem since 911, and after the wars began in Afghanistan and Iraq, because I am against the unconstitutional use of military power.

I am against torture. I am against the policies of extraordinary rendition, against holding prisoners taken from the battlefield without extending to them the protections that should be afforded to every human being who is under the aegis of American power.

I am against it.

But I witnessed a simple little something last night that tugged at my heart strings a little bit.

My lady and I were at a local tavern; it was Friday night and we stepped out for a burger and beer.

This little bar, Pat’s Tap, it’s not a VFW, or an American Legion hall. It’s just a bar that happens to have a flag pole out front, and the owner flies the flag out front, both the Stars and Stripes, and the State flag of Minnesota.

The owner of this place owns a number of bars and restaurants around town, and to my knowledge this is the only with a flag pole.

The flag pole came with the property, and she kept the custom of flying our flags here intact.

We arrived there at about sundown, and where we were seated, facing the door we were able to watch as two of the staff members brought the flags down, carried them carefully inside and gave them each a proper fold.

It touched me.

Pat’s Tap is just a neighborhood place, middle class, with decent food and games.

They have Skee Ball, it’s vaguely a rock n’ roll place.

These ladies brought the flags down, carried them in. They were careful to ensure that they did not touch the floor. They folded it into a neat little triangle, she said, “as the Scout manual instructed them too.”

I asked her about it. She told me it was just what they did. She seemed happy to talk about it, and proud for her part, in caring for the symbols of our nation and our state.

It made me feel good.