Tag Archives: death

Peter Jennings 1938-2005

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The “face” of ABC News died today and I really miss him.

I was a Cronkite kid, growing up with Uncle Walter who I trusted as much as my mom. Then when he retired and Dan Rather took over I was a bit lost. For some reason I just never cared for Dan.

Then I found Peter on ABC’s World News Tonight. His confident delivery and focus on World news fit in with my needs at the time. I wanted to know and felt I needed to know about the world outside the US. In the days before cable news and the Internet, the main source of world news was one of the nightly newscasts.

I was alone in my love of World News Tonight. My Mom was a stick in the mud CBS News viewer and we use to have arguments over watching Rather or Jennings. I lost those battles but when she would be napping after work or wasn’t home, the TV was on Jennings.

Peter Jennings reminded me of Peter Mansbridge on the CBC and if you squinted they looked like twins. I also liked Jennings Canadian accent as it gave him a non-US allure like the presenters on the BBC.

It is a sad day for me.

Troops in Iraq are not “heroes”

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14 Marines from a unit based in Ohio died when a roadside bomb went off in Iraq on Wednesday August 3rd.

It is sad for the families of the fallen Marines but since Wednesday our local media have not stopped talking about the deaths. I have seen several parents interviewed, people putting flowers at a make shift memorial, and now the Governor has called for a day of mourning on August 8th.

Having lost my Dad in Vietnam back in 1968, I understand what they are going through but I am disturbed by the relentless media coverage about the recent deaths. It just seems creepy that people think they need to grieve with the families in a public way.

This isn’t the first time the local media here in Ohio has given coverage of an Iraq war death. It seems every week there is another video package of parents talking about their child or a husband who has been killed. It has happened so often that I am numb to it. That’s why with the deaths on Wednesday, I really don’t feel anything beyond sadness for the families. I am not mourning nor do I need to mourn.

It may have something to do with my feelings about the troops in Iraq. I don’t believe they should be there.

Our Governor, in his call for mourning said “All citizens of Ohio should pause and remember all of those heroes who have sacrificed their lives and those who are currently fighting to defend our freedom…”

I don’t see the troops as heroes and they aren’t defending my freedom. They are doing a job. They are executing a political plan to install democracy in a region that has no history of democracy. They were sent there based on a lie. To me all the troops there are victims. They are victims of a crass and arrogant civil authority who never had a plan except for their fantasy idea of what would happen.

That’s maybe why I don’t feel anything else when there are reports of another child or father or mother dying in Iraq. Death just seems like another outcome from a failed policy by leaders who should know better.

We have seen this all before. My Dad’s name is engraved on black granite in Washington as a monument to another arrogant administration who also had fantasy notions of how another country should be run.

Losing a child or father or mother in a war is hell. It never seems to get better even with time. They are gone and will never and can never come back.

That’s why sending troops into battle should be the very last resort. It is not fast or easy. It isn’t a video game. Troops are real people with real lives and have more living to do.

Each death tears apart another family and is never something that should be entered into lightly.

Brief thoughts on the passing of Pope John Paul II

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Couldn’t avoid the death watch the past few days. CNN had wall to wall coverage since Friday.

I just shook my head as millions of Catholics prayed for the Pope’s recovery then of course it was changed to praying for the Pope as he makes his way to Jesus.

John Paul II was an interesting person. Very active and he traveled a lot.

I didn’t and still don’t agree with his religion but respect him more than some of the political leaders during his 26 year reign.

Read some interesting comments about him. One was that he despised totalitarianism (having lived through the Nazi occupation of Poland and the Soviet domination) and he called it false religion yet he made his own decisions that are seen just as dictatorial. He wanted to improve the status of women but dictated that no women could be priests and came out against abortion for example.

Then there is the continued road blocks the Vatican has put up when trying to work on the issue of population control.

His Papacy set back US Catholicism 30 years and aligned it with the evangelical Christians.

Saw a quote in an AP article this evening that pretty much explains why someone like me could never be a member of any church:

“The church cannot be an association of freethinkers.”