This is the anniversary of tragedy in Mogadishu.
But my sense of loss over these events has bled outward through the years.
When it happened I wondered why Clinton waffled so badly not just in Somalia but even more tragically in Rwanda.
The gruesome loss of American lives in Africa would eventually be overshadowed by the meaninglessness of their sacrifice–no one came to save the Somalis and no one came to save the Rwandans.
And really, Who will save any of us?
We call ourselves a rich country but we are debt-soaked and impoverished, too spoiled and weak to pass a balanced budget and live within our means.
And yet our moral deficits outstrip our fiscal woes. Clinton was a moral-less man yet so many revere him. All I can see is the people he let down–people who expected him to use his office to protect the innocent not debauch young women.
And that is where the story gets personal. In 1998 when I was losing a foster daughter to a fixed adoption, Clinton was embroiled in a sex scandal. I wrote his wife asking for a federal review of the illegal activities I witnessed as a foster parent.
Months later I got a form letter from her telling me to appeal to one of the people I had reported.
I got the message; I lost the child.
My remaining adopted children craved violence. They did not have much to work with at our house. Most of our movies were kid-friendly.
But the three my adopted son ferreted out because of their violence?
Tristan and Isolde
The Passion of the Christ
Now both he and his sister glory in their horror movies.
Not perhaps realizing how close they are to autobiography.
In the spring of 2007 another Blackhawk helicopter came down near Opp, Alabama. This one had my father in it. He was on an accelerated schedule to train pilots for our foreign wars.
People whispered that Bush was at fault. The army had rushed training. The pilots my father taught were too green. There were flaws in the flight simulators.
His students walked away from the crash, my father did not.
Some accidents are “unsurvivable.” They change who we are forever.
There are two parts of the movie I cannot forget. In the first a fatally wounded soldier is told he will survive as his life bleeds out in the darkness.
In the second the survivors reach sanctuary.
In the end we will all face the unsurvivable wreckage of our broken lives. And when we do, only a Mighty Fortress will save us.