Six thousand faces: Leave the propaganda to the liars
Her smiling face stared up at me from the obituary page. She was a dark-haired 34-year-old named Jennifer. She and her husband were eagerly anticipating the arrival of their first child.
Jennifer was a professional woman who recently had been promoted from vice president to director in the insurance company where she worked. Unfortunately, her office was on the 92nd floor, 2 World Trade Center. She and her unborn child perished there on September 11, 2001, along with six thousand others.
As I looked at her picture among the memorials in my local paper, I thought about the six thousand faces that will never be seen again. Six thousand faces that will never again behold loved ones. Six thousand faces that have disappeared along with the twin towers. Imagine the image of six thousand faces, and then add the image of the faces of those who loved those six thousand.
If the eyes reveal the soul, then the face identifies the character. It is how we recognize someone, even after years of absence. We don’t know one another by our knees, hands or elbows. We know each other by the tender looks, the twinkling eyes or the disapproving countenance. It’s the faces.
America has become a place of instant gratification. We become irritated if we have to spend more than three minutes in the fast food drive-through line. If the channel we are watching bores us, we can change it to one of a hundred others.
And we have come to believe the last thing we saw.
Many times, the last thing we saw was the face of an Afghan child, wrapped in bandages, lying on a filthy cot in a God-forsaken “hospital.” He is in pain. He is helpless. And somehow, it is your fault because he was hurt by one of our bombs. This is the message we are being spoon-fed by left-wing media, especially CNN, long known for its ability to propagandize on behalf of our enemies.
For the first few days after 9-11, we were inundated with video footage of the bombings. These horrible images became seared into our consciousness, just as surely as those planes burned their way into the World Trade Center and brought its towers crumbling to the ground. There was talk that perhaps Americans were “overdosing” on those images, so the networks, including CNN, switched to the stories of those who had escaped. We heard from them briefly, then they were gone, and the images began to fade.
Now, with the war raging on two fronts, at home and abroad, the faces we are being shown are not the faces of the Americans who lost their lives, either on September 11th or since. They are not the images of family members who ache to hold a husband or wife, a son or daughter, but will never do so again. Yet, these are the images we need to see, not the pathetic faces of Afghan civilians whose homes happen to be damaged by one of our bombs. At the risk of sounding cold and calloused, we should not care about the collateral damage we inflict in Afghanistan or Iraq or anywhere else we decide to attack. War is a horrible thing, but we will not win it by wringing our hands over every dead or wounded Afghan civilian. And we must win it.
When the United States dropped the atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the faces of tens of thousands of innocent men, women and children disappeared forever. Thousands more died an even worse death from radiation. Yet, it would take an actuary to calculate the number of lives that were saved. A million is the estimate, just in that generation. What about ours? Many in my generation, myself included, are probably alive today as a direct result of those attacks. If the war had raged in the Pacific beyond the summer of 1945, my father, along with many others who had survived the war in Europe, would surely have been sent to invade the Japanese mainland, a battle that would have dwarfed any the world had ever seen.
Show us the faces of our countrymen who have died. Show us the faces of their loved ones. Show us the faces of our brave soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen who daily put their lives on the line to defend freedom. Show us the face of America, and leave the propaganda to the liars and the tyrants.