By Dave Parker

Perpetual Copyright 2001 All Rights Reserved.

September 18, 2001

As the drums of war beat across this land, I sat at Mass this past Sunday in Texas while things from my childhood began to come to me unbeckoned. As I sat and listened to a beautiful sermon from the Bishop, I actually had to smile to myself while my heart cried. Here I was, a Wyoming ranch boy living in Texas. Being from Scot, Norwegian and Native American descent, I have a very colorful kilt in the closet!!!!!

I thought back to my childhood outside of Pavillion,Wyoming growing up in the Community Methodist Church with a minister who happened to be a former Air Force officer. I was baptized Episcopal, but you went to whatever was close when you had less than 50 kids in your class. The smile began to fade as family stories came back to me about places like Vietnam and World War II - my Father was a Captain in the Marine Corps in the Vietnam War, as well as a victim of post traumatic stress disorder, and stories of my Grandfather who flew with the Flying Tigers in WWII (yes, those guys!). I understood the real impact of a war from a very young age.

I glanced around the cathedral and began to understand that there is a generation who does not understand what has to happen. I am 32 years old, and anybody younger than me may have no more an idea about the realities of the threat to our lives than the TV war we witnessed in the early 90's.

As I sat with my wife, son and extended family in this grand church, it became very real to me while I prayed for all of my beloved family in the Cowboy State. Many centuries ago, kilted Highlanders came out of the hills, Vikings oiled their boats and hit the surf while my Penobscot ancestors painted their faces and strung their bows. One thing is clear, the banned songs of the Bagpipe must be heard across the hillsides as we prepare for war. Our way of life that my family has sacrificed for since before the American Revolution has been threatened in a way that allows only one response. The bully in the schoolyard has pushed us once too many times, our families are in danger. We must stand beside our president, the son. We must stand beside our neighbors as we enter into a conflict not seen since the evacuation of Saigon. As one can probably surmise from my questionable genetics, I have a fiery temper that is tempered with a "mountain high" orneriness - two of my very visible traits.

This country was built upon the foundation of freedom from the Clans of North Carolina to the Norwegian Dairies of Wisconsin. This freedom will continue, that I can promise. We are Americans.

Perpetual Copyright 2001 All Rights Reserved.


Page Last Updated Monday, July 09, 2012