Tuesday, August 10, 2004

The Big Brouhaha

When I made the decision to have my own blog, I made a promise to myself that I would never do two things: 1. Push my “radical” Kennedy theories and research on anyone and 2. Never am I to discuss those yellow ribbons. I shouldn’t make promises that I can’t keep. I’ve had it…

Driving home this evening I counted exactly 56 yellow ribbons. Not to mention the millions I saw of red, white, and blue appearance. It infuriates me! Why do we collectively choose this way of showing our support? It seems to me there would be better ways of displaying our patriotism and support. But that would make it all too simple, now wouldn’t it. (And don’t you dare question my patriotism…I tried to join the Army and they wouldn’t take me!)

It should be simple, our nation is at war and those of us at home should feel obliged to support the troops, but as is the case with everything there are two sides to this. Last night I was reading on the SFGate website and there was an article about this very thing. It seems in the Bay Area these little yellow ribbons on vehicles, lampposts, telephone poles, and windows have caused quite a stir—to the extent of hate mail and death threats! Now, I’m not that extreme. I just don’t agree with the commercialization of war.

How do we know that the money we spend on these little ribbons is actually going to the troops and if it isn’t, displaying them on our cars will not give the troops the support they need. I will reaffirm the fact that I am not a supporter of the War in Iraq, but as a citizen of the United States I am not against the men and women who are fighting. It is their responsibility to do so whether or not this is “fictitious” war.

I’m at my wits end with this one…Could someone please explain to me the reason these ribbons are plastered across our society? And just a warning… (I’ve heard in some parts of the country people are going door-to-door selling these things) If you come to my door, I will stand there in my ugly black shorts and tell you that you are making a mockery of war and I for one am sick of it!

Ok…I’m done ranting. And you were expecting the ‘two shooters, four shots, one dead president, and a dishonorable discharge’ scenario…weren’t you?


Cory said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Nick Speth said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Nick Speth said...

Meant to post that on another post. Don't know how I managed not to. Also... can't figure out how to delete it. Yeah. I'm an idiot. Can't comment on the brouhaha post, haven't read it yet.

Tara A. Rowe said...

Cory S. Miles---You could be my new best friend! I've resisted stating my opinion on the magnetic ribbons around town because I was afraid I could be alone in the battle. Struggling also with whether or not I support the war in Iraq, you helped me to see a viewpoint I hadn't yet. I've long thought that Gore would have done a poor job in the shoes of George W. Bush, but now I am starting to think even the "greats" such as FDR, Truman, and Wilson would have also struggled in similar circumstances.

I'm certain there are other ways to support our troops financially if that is the route a person wants to take, but I too think sending a flag up the empty flagpole or "tying" a ribbon to a car antenna or a front porch stoop could be much more beneficial.

Thanks for the fine comment.

Cory said...

Oops...Nick meant to comment on another post and then intentionally deleted his comment here. I meant to post here, but the deletion was my mistake. If you've got access to a copy of it still, feel free to either repost or to send it to me to repost.

Keep rolling out the insights!

Nick Speth said...

A few quick points:

a) Cory, I posted it properly, so no worries.

b) Tara, no need to put "greats" in quotes when you refer to Truman much less FDR. Using scare quotes without attribution infers, correctly or not, that you don't agree with the definition. FDR was an amazing leader who united a country during a war that made the casualties of the Iraq conflict look insignificant. And Truman shined despite his unenviable job of following FDR.

c) As to the original topic. The idea is from an old Tony Orlando and Dawn record called "Tie a Yellow Ribbon 'Round the Old Oak Tree." The yellow ribbon phenomenon is odd. Especially considering that the inspiration for this trend is a song about a man coming home from PRISON and wondering if his girl still wants him.

I agree that buying a yellow ribbon is unnecessary, but why not do something inexpensive to outwardly show what you feel inside. If you don't want to buy a ribbon (useless) and want to support the troops financially with the money you save (admirable if not really a lot of money, how much is a ribbon), I suggest one of two charities:

The Freedom Alliance Scholarship Fund: Oliver North of Iran Contra fame hels children of deceased veterans get scholarships later in life. http://www.freedomalliance.org/scholarship.htm

Operation AC: A bit more immediate. Sends air conditioning units to Iraq for the long-term troops there to use. http://www.operationac.com/

Really I just wanted to advertise for some of my favorite charities.

Tara A. Rowe said...

I was aware of the Tony Orlando and Dawn song regarding the yellow ribbon which I find rather annoying (lyrically). I also appreciate your input on the charities, as I could not think of a single one off the top of my head.

Maybe instead of all these ribbons, flags, and whatnot...we could just express our appreciation to those who are serving or who have served in our armed forces personally, when the chance arises. I myself have written a thank you card to several veterans, including a former German professor who served in the U.S. Navy despite his German heritage, and to whom I am greatful.

Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

Hey girlfriend, can you believe I am posting my views! I am 100% with you on the yellow ribbons - if people want to be supportive help the families of those serving our country. How about an evening off for a mom at home with children!!