Terror Rant

It’s been a little over a week since the terrorist attack outside a concert arena in Manchester, England took the lives of 22 innocent people and injured many others. The victims were just going about their business living their lives, trying to find a bright spot of musical entertainment in a dark gray world. The victims were mostly children being picked up after the Ariana Grande concert ended. I’ve been there, done that with my own children. The atmosphere is happy, exciting, anticipatory. Moving forward, crowds will be anticipating something more – snipers, stolen trucks barreling through crowds, and pressure cooker bombs

     Ariana Grande, the 24 year old pop music princess was devastated by the attack and postponed the rest of her European Tour. Some social media posts say Arianna’s concert was targeted because of her suggestive outfits. The terrorists are so infuriated by what they perceive as anything unholy, that they feel justified in countering with even more heinous acts of their own. The murder of innocent children out for a night of fun is so much more offensive than anything in Arianna Grande’s wardrobe.

     Our president (like him or not) had strong words for the terrorists. He refused to call them “monsters” and stated he would call them “losers” from now on. Why does he seem so much more presidential while he’s out of the country? Ironically, foreigners seem to love him. Then again, he’s just visiting their countries. Maybe he’s easier to tolerate in small doses.

     Current events have me re-thinking the ban on travelers from the six or seven middle eastern countries who have a high rate of exporting terrorists. Some say a ban on all foreign flights for six-months would give american lawmakers a chance to collect their breath and start to formulate a solution. Something has to be done. Our open border policy doesn’t seem to be working. The honor system only works if everyone is honest. And there are those who will ruin it for the rest of us, and by “ruin it” I mean “kill us”.

    After the Manchester bombings,  concert goers with tickets to other upcoming events say they will still attend. Living in fear signals a victory to the terrorists. Everyone I’ve seen on the news is putting up a brave front while looking over their shoulder. Stay vigilant, government officials tell us.

     A statement I heard from a BBC reporter prompted me to write this article. She said Britain is going to have to “get used to” terrorist attacks because the problem cannot be stopped.

     No, Ms. BBC news reporter. Do not tell me to “get use to” living like this. Do not tell me nothing can be done. I’m not sure what we can do, but we have to start somewhere. Do something, become pro-active instead of just reacting every time an attack occurs. These terrorists are at war with us and the majority of citizens walk around like nothing is happening. This is one problem, that if ignored, won’t go away. It will get worse. And worse. And worse. Until there aren’t enough of us left alive to fight back. Three dead here, twenty-two dead there, three-thousand dead over there. I will not “get used to” this.

     Things once enjoyable have slowly become causes of dread. There was a time when airplane trips were fun. Visiting foreign countries was something to be excited about. Concerts, social gatherings and events that draw crowds are now tinged with fear and danger. I applaud singer Ariana Grande for planning her return to Manchester, England to host a benefit concert for the families of the victims. I expected a much different reaction. Instead of hiding in fear she has become an unlikely symbol of strength in the face of adversity.

     My son’s upcoming departure for his 13 hour flight to his new life in Japan looms on the horizon. I am a nervous wreck but I’m trying not to show it. I’ll be praying to God throughout his flight until his feet are on solid ground, somewhere, anywhere. I feel so helpless not being there for him when he’s halfway around the world. I told him the recent years of terror attacks have left me on edge, and I am worried about him living in a foreign country. He tried to ease my mind.

    “Just live your life, Dad,” he said to me. “That’s all you can do.”

     There must be something more we can do. Unfortunately, no one seems to know what that something is.

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