View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Presidents and heroes

President's Day.
A holiday to honor great men - Lincoln and Washington.

Over the weekend we watched the DVD for Flags of Our Fathers. It raised questions about greatness and heroism.

Who gets honored? Heroes? Only some of the heroes? The people in the right place at the right time? The ones media manipulators and money-seeking marketeers want us to honor?

The three men they manipulated after the battle were heroes. So were the three others credited with helping to raise the flag over Iwo Jima (although one of them really didn't raise the flag) in that staged shot (the famous picture is not of the actual raising of the first flag). So was the man who actually did help to raise the flag but whose name got lost for a while in the push to exploit the flag-raisers.

So were the many others who died at Iwo Jima and other battles - a point the film makes.

So even were the Japanese - as the companion film Letter from Iwo Jima points out.

We honor Washington and Lincon today. They deserve it. But so do many other patriotic men and women over the years.


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