September 11 - This is the fourth time that I've seen "September 11" posted at the start of a WOMP-Blog entry, and the sixth time that it has had deeper meaning than just "the date." September 11 will always bring sadness, fear, anger, and so many other emotions, of course, but, like the voice of a long passed grandparent, or the recollection of a childhood treehouse, I also find myself haunted by the memory of the America of "September 10." Gone, I guess, is that sense that I used to have that we were more-or-less immune to terrorist attacks from the rest of the world because, as the Great Melting Pot, we were the rest of the world. In my patriotic naivete, I truly believed that the rest of the people on Earth saw us, perhaps begrudgingly, as their offspring. We were, I thought, the culmination of the world's greatest dream; that people, regardless of their differences, would have equality, freedoms, and rights under the law. When I looked at the American flag, I saw many more colors than just red, white, and blue. Now...well, today the flag is just varying shades of drab grey. That a handful of evil, foreign misanthropes, with hatred where there hearts should be, could impact the nation, and me, so appallingly, has left a scar that will never heal. That others, from within our country, then over-reacted to this attack by systematically subverting the very principles that I once so idealized...? That's left me disillusioned and numb. I'm no genius or anything myself, but these incompetent, poorly-stuffed suits seem to be doing their best to do their worst. While we may have been knocked down on 9/11/01, we're being kicked in the ribs now on 9/11/07. When I think about all of this, the ghost of September 10 comes to me in my dreams. With my eyes closed, I can almost feel like I'm still back there, back where the war in Iraq had been about international protection of Kuwait, The Constitution was worth more than the paper upon which it was printed, seven-thousand extra Americans were still alive, and when I still believed that there was something special, and intrinsically good, about the U.S. which trumped small-minded zealousness. Then I wake up. The goal, I suppose, is to make my dream a reality...again (if it ever was to begin with). Anyone can complain about how bad things are, but we should all try to do something to make them better. So, on this day, let's all dedicate ourselves to trying to make the next September 11 more like the spirit of September 10. Here's your "Crusty Bunker" of The Day - Dick Giordano!