I am saddened, hurt, angry, at the loss of life - again. I do not know the family nor dare I imagine their actual burden of grief, but when a young girl in Seaview takes her own life, the loss touches me deeply, touches us all. All this past week, I felt my own sadness and grieving. I thought of two women, the one lost in pain in Seaview, the other living in public service in Washington D.C.
Our National Security Adviser, Condoleeza Rice has risen to the occasion of the latest, most remarkable terrorist threat warning of spectacular attacks, massive casualties and maximum emotional harm. She announced, the day after this young woman was lost to us at Ilwaco High School, that steps were being taken to protect our "critical infrastructure," the railroads, the power plants, the communications net, from the threat.
Ah, what about ... the people? A continent away, worlds away, too many of our own, too many of our children and neighbors just don't seem to be a part of that "critical infrastructure." A young woman in despair who tragically gives up hope in Seaview. Too many before her in the same pain. Two young girls found buried in the front yard of a vile, violent madman in Portland. Twenty children who beat a 35-year-old man to death in Milwaukee. A university nursing student in Arizona shooting everyone around him when graded as a poor student. The city of Oakland, with 95 homicides to date this year - the murder capital of California.
Of course, the analogy is terrible. And of course, it's not. Resources that would enrich, perhaps save lives in all of our communities are siphoned from all of our state economies. They are drained continuously from the needs of the people, to the needs of the armies and its weapons. Of course national defense is imperative; blood has long been spilled to ensure our freedom. But we also already have a terrible war to be fought here at home - a war to reclaim hope, jobs, education, services, housing, education, Native American rights, social investment, community resources. Resources that just might shine enough light to keep a life living with us. And not a single national leader will commit to fighting this war at home, to save and protect our own people from its threat. We have some work to do.
What a horrific time to commit all of our human and physical resources to attacking all the people of another nation solely to depose one man. Which man thought of that? Perhaps it is about time we worked together to take back our own country and protect it from our own economic weapons of mass destruction. Perhaps it's about time to turn upside down the old saying about "You're either part of the critical infrastructure or you're not..." We, all of us, are and our well-being supersedes a bankrupting foreign policy.
All life is sacred. Nothing brings back those we lose, not even our grief. We can honor those we lose by fighting to keep those we still have. We know what we have to do - together. May our lost children ever rest in a peaceful place.