Two major events in the news. The obvious one is that Washington’s actions
(or should that be antics) ultimately resulted in Standard & Poor’s
lowering the USA’s credit rating. I, like most Americans, was embarrassed by the “typical Washington Kabuki Theater.” Has our government engendered
confidence in the people of this country, or any other for that matter? Hardly.
But the financial world – the same ilk that gave us derivatives that no investor could understand. The brothers of those who took bailout money to pay themselves bonuses; The sisters of those who managed to destroy
the American dream of owning a home; has now passed judgment on the country’s creditworthiness and found it wanting.
It’s kind of like preparing for the big homecoming game in high school, only to discover that the visiting team’s coach is controlling the scoreboard. Having the fox guard the henhouse would be a far better deal.
But as far as I’m concerned, that story is the lesser of the two important stories. While the bankers, financiers and politicians have focused on power and wealth, 38 American service members gave their lives. Most of them Sailors. Most of them Seals.
They did not dedicate and ultimately give their lives for fortune, or fame. They gave them for their beliefs and commitments. Something that the starring
actors in the first story might have difficulty understanding.
The families of the Seals are reporting how their Seals did what they loved. How they died was not as important as how they lived. To me, their rating of the
credibility of the USA is far more important than anyone credit manager.
Seal Team Six is a local unit. They’re easy to spot. They’re the guys who blend in. The ones who don’t wear the “Navy Seal” shirts available at the Exchange.
They’re the ones who don’t look impressed with themselves as they sit a
few pews away in church or in the elementary school gymnasium for the 5th
grade awards ceremony. There are mythical attributes ascribed to “the girl next door.” The Seals embody “the guy next door.”
I’ll have more thoughts to share in the next few days, but for today I’d like to share the following few thoughts:
1. When I see the antics in Washington, it renews my faith when I think of these young men.
2. When I see the money changers comfortably sitting in their Wall Street temples, it renews my faith when I think of these young men.
3. When I see people grabbing headlines by whatever means possible, it renews my faith when I think of these young men.
The 91st Psalm is often referred to as the Warriors’ Psalm. I cannot offer anything so poetic. But I can say, “Thanks, guys. We’re going to miss you.”
I can say to their wives, sons, daughters and parents, “In a time with too few heroes, thank you for sharing yours.”