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Gus Van Horn blog

Reblogged:I Went for Clarity

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FDR signing the declaration of war against Germany. (Image by Office of War Information, via Wikipedia, public domain.)
I was a bit surprised -- although, perhaps I shouldn't have been -- when my third-grade daughter mentioned to me last Wednesday that she had learned it was "Patriot's Day." Oddly, I had never heard of this, although Congress did indeed pass a joint resolution declaring it so in December of 2001. (I would have preferred a declaration of war.) This she mentioned apropos of nothing in a crowded waiting room as I was picking her up after gymnastics.

It took me a few questions to be sure she was talking about what I was afraid she was: I had never discussed the atrocities of September 11, 2001 with my children before, and am not sure how appropriate it is beyond a certain point to discuss them at their ages. (Or at least, given the way these things tend to be discussed, I think that is true.)

But since the matter came up and was probably not framed properly, I gave her something close to the below essentialized description. I made sure to include the words evil and murder:
About ten years before you were born, evil men who knew how to fly planes took over several. Then, on purpose, they flew them into buildings while people were at work. They murdered everyone in the planes and many in the buildings.
She agreed, and then mentioned that that is why we have check-in lines at the airports. I decided to let the fairy tale of security theater go unchallenged for now, but I am overall satisfied that they know I regard what happened as a deliberate, evil act by evil men.

Whatever my children end up believing about all this, it will not be because I will fail to challenge the worst (i.e., altruist-collectivist-pragmatist) elements of our culture. They will know that I and others think otherwise, and at least have a lead on why.

The combination of international appeasement and domestic curtailment of freedom since that day are more damaging than anything a barbarian is capable of. And those things anger me. These measures are worse than inaction for their stated purposes, and they will, besides, make establishing and maintaining moral clarity about the war being waged against us into a challenge when it should actually be easy.

-- CAV

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