Yes, that Dave Barry.
There should have been ample warning as to how heartrending “Hallowed Ground” really is. I mean, it came bundled up in a book called Boogers Are My Beat for god’s sake!
But bravo, Mr. Barry. Bravo. Beautiful, this.
He wrote this essay a year after 9/11.
You’ve been warned.
Read, read, read.
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One of the most heartrending quotes in “Among the Heroes” is from Deena Burnett, the widow of Flight 93 passenger Tom Burnett, who is believed to have played an active role in the battle on the plane. Mrs. Burnett is describing what it’s like to be the widow of a hero:
“In the beginning, everyone asked, ‘Aren’t you proud of him? Aren’t you happy that he’s a hero?’ I thought, my goodness, the first thing you have to understand is, I’m just trying to put one foot in front of the other. For my husband to be anyone’s hero … I’d much prefer him to be here with me.”
So we need to remember this: The heroes of Flight 93 were people on a plane. Their glory is being paid for, day after day, by grief. Tom Burnett does not belong to the nation. He is, first and foremost, Deena Burnett’s husband, and the father of their three daughters. Any effort we make to claim him as ours is an affront to those who loved him, those he loved.
He is not ours.
* * *
In other news, have you read former Senator Franklin Drilon’s commentary about Cory’s exit from the Presidency?
This is amazing (emphasis mine):
For the third track, the transition team prepared a series of books on the Aquino administration. These included the President’s Report, along with individual reports as well as videos on key areas like policy, decentralization, antipoverty and other aspects of governance.
These were distributed to schools, libraries, embassies and media agencies. Leafing through them again, I realize that much of what Cory did as President went unheralded, given how allergic she was to the idea of doing things for show or for PR purposes.
There are photos of her with children, with the sick, and with victims of disasters, which never made it to the front pages of newspapers.
For today’s approval rating-hungry incumbent, this would have been unthinkable.