The other night while having dinner on our deck on a warm summer evening we heard automatic weapons fire. We live in the suburbs of Denver, about a mile as the crow flies from the Family Shooting Center in Cherry Creek State Park. We often hear the peppering of gunfire as people shoot and train with handguns and rifles. It is background noise for us, … Continue reading Guns In My Backyard
A couple of years ago I read a book called “The Faith Club” where three women got together regularly to talk about faith. They were a Christian, a Muslim and a Jew. The experience and friendship was transformative as they worked through their differences and came to realize their similarities. I am having a dialogue with a man named Ben Coker, Jr. in South Carolina who responded to a blog I wrote on Veterans Day. We are politically miles apart but we are finding common ground and having an inspired conversation. It continues here.
Vicky, please call me by my first name. I am also enjoying this dialogue with you. I fully agree with your assessment about our not being able to run to every segment of the world. I vividly remember Mogadishu. That was an absolute fiasco. We went over there for humanitarian reasons. There was no functioning government to control the population. Reagan sent the military as a part of the contingency to provide this assistance. The radicals have taken over that area. Of course we exited that area in disarray. We should have never been there.
How do we differentiate between the areas we should try to help and those we should not. I agree with you about our being able to win the friendship through creating conditions that enrich the lives of the people and promoting quality of life. Do you remember the Marshall Plan that was utilized to rebuild Europe in an effort to develop and cultivate friendship and to improve the lives of the people as well as international commerce? This was a very successful operation. However, it was successful because the Allied Armies and the Nazis destroyed all the infrastructure throughout Europe. The Allied Armies had beaten the adversaries into submission. They had nothing left. The military leaders were allowed to conduct a very aggressive battle plan that left them helpless. The adversaries could not resist the USA’s and other’s plan to resuscitate the economy of the world. The enabled the nations to develop a resurgent economy conducive for ALL citizens.
Part 4 in the dialogue between me and Ben Coker, Jr. of South Carolina following my Veterans Day post. Hi Mr. Coker, I’m enjoying our dialogue. I am not the student of history that you are but as a television news producer and international traveler I think I’ve got a pretty good handle on current events. I would like to address your question on whether … Continue reading War and Remembrance 4
Following my Veterans Day post, the conversation continues with Ben Coker, Jr. of South Carolina about war, service and our commitment as Americans. Hope others will join the dialogue. Will keep posting as our back and forth continues. Dear Mr. Coker, Thank you so much for reading my blog and for your incredibly thoughtful comments. Part of the reason I write is to leaving something … Continue reading War and Remembrance 2
I received a very thoughtful response from Ben Coker, Jr. of South Carolina to my Veterans Day post. He and I are having a dialogue about war and peace and our obligations as Americans. We have never met and I sense we are on two sides of the political spectrum but we are sharing our opinions and trying to understand where the other is coming from. In the meantime I am getting quite a history lesson. I’ll be sharing our conversation with you. Read on:
Good morning Ms. Collins,
I read with great interest you column on your inability to endure your son’s telling you that he would like to join the military. In that column you expressed your gratitude for those who have and are currently serving their country. Your point is well taken, but let me offer the following thoughts. It is only natural for a mother to protect her children; however please allow me to offer the following.
I was born in 1948 and grew up in a very rural area in South Carolina. I had two uncles on my dad’s side that fought in “The Battle of The Bulge” in Germany during WWII. I had other relatives that were deployed to other parts of the world in order to maintain freedom for our beloved America. As I was growing up, I vividly remember the horror stories on TV of the atrocities on sea, land and in the air. One of my uncles was never ever able to re-adjust to life after the war. He had a family with five children, but he was an alcoholic. My other uncle acclimatized well to life after the war.
However, having been born in 1948 I can remember an abundance of patriotism for WWII. There were many movies depicting battles of WWII. We children were drilled on the importance of our military and the need to support the military. I was always very interested in “Operation Overlord” or better known “D Day”. I educated myself on the events that motivated Japan’s bombing of Pearl Harbor and our subsequent “Declaration of War” on Germany and the other countries allied with Germany.
Other underlying facts involved the genocide initiated by Germany and the the theft of the people throughout Europe who did not adhere to Nazism. Our nation endured much pain and suffering in order to defeat Hitler, Mussolini and Tojo. Of course there were many more who rose to power whom we eventually defeated, but the fact remains, the USA paid an enormous cost. from this war rose some of the most courageous leaders ever known. In fact Tom Brokaw wrote a book about the forefathers who endured that period of time. The name of his book was “The Greatest Generation”.
As a mother I can’t imagine my son coming to me and saying he’s going to join the military. I am not brave enough for that conversation. I don’t ever want to sit across the table and hear that news. Every time my son hyperventilates over “Call of Duty” (he bought Black Ops on the first day it was out) I worry the video games … Continue reading On Veterans Day
The cover of this week’s Time Magazine is incredibly powerful. I saw it at the airport and couldn’t get it out of my mind. A woman with her nose cut off by the Taliban as the poster child for the carnage and cruelty in that war torn land. Not sure if it posed a question or just an answer with its title: What Happens If … Continue reading The Woman on the Cover
Many of you have come to this blog to watch the story about Juliette and read about her brutal acid attack in Kampala, Uganda (http://vimeo.com/5703299.) I had always considered the violence against Juliette and other women like her as personal. Jealous men destroy the lives of women who threaten them in some way. Nicholos Kristof of the New York Times writes widely on this subject as … Continue reading Acid Attacks: Personal and Political
One year ago I was in Beijing, China for a three month gig working at the Olympics. In November 2008 I headed to Kampala, Uganda again to do more television production work for BeadforLife (http://beadforlife.org) then immediately after a quick trip to Delhi, India for a wedding. No exotic destinations this summer but I’m hungry for an overseas trip. I’m already thinking about what to do … Continue reading Vacation in Afghanistan
Juliette dreams of someday marrying a nice man. One unlike the monster who poured acid on her in a jealous rage in July 2007. We are sitting with this young woman, just 19 years old, on a porch near a church in Kampala, Uganda. Juliette is beautiful on the side of her face that she shows to the world. Her eyes are bright and she has a radiant … Continue reading Juliette’s Acid Attack