Sunday, June 24, 2007

A Rich Man's War and a Poor Man's Fight

June 22, 2007, in the front window of a house near the school on Chicago's West Side that I teach at.


Stephanie said...

what do you teach?

I'm currently trying to find a teaching job in Chicago (I'm from Canada and having some problems).

Bubs said...

A beautiful and heartbreaking picture.

Doc said...

Upon seeing this I was struck with a feeling of hurt, and impotence. God bless those who grieve.


cheer34 said...

I am afraid to ask what the flag is a symbol for, but my ignorance is genuine. I think I know but want to be sure. So please tell me.

Skylers Dad said...

It's so sad.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I'm not entirely sure what the flag in the window signifies either, but I'm assuming a family member was killed in service? You're right, I'll bet you don't see those in the windows of too many mansions.

Johnny Yen said...

It's a symbol of having someone overseas in the service. A blue star is good-- it means they're alive. A gold star is really sad-- it means they died in service.

I doubt we're seeing a lot of these stars in the windows of Winnetka, Buffalo Grove and other affluent suburbs. We send the poor to fight our wars-- the neighborhood I teach in is poor.

cheer34 said...

I had a feeling that is what it was for. Didn't Michael Moore's movie show that the poor were being recurited heavily by the armed forces, making promises of money and education? Glamorizing the opportunites? I think specifically the service was targeting inner city detroit.

Johnny Yen said...

I teach science and Spanish.

What problems are you having? I'm not sure what the hiring situation is this year in Chicago-- they've been laying people off the last couple of years.

Thanks. It was funny, just the other day I went past the house from this post, the one where I saw the star I'd seen in the window throughout my childhood years later. It made me think of that.


Cheer34 and Barbara--
As I mentioned, blue means service, gold means a death-- I only found out about the gold star recently-- I didn't know there was a difference. Happyily, for now, it's a blue star.

Skyler's Dad-
It angers me so much. My father and I exchanged emails about the arrogance and incompetence of this administration. He expressed the hope that like Governor Ryan here in Illinois, once they lose the protection of their office, they'll pay for their crimes.

I got a call from my old friend and college roommate Garrett, who stayed in the reserves after his active duty (he was ROTC). He did a year in Iraq. It cost him the relationship with the woman he'd been with some time. He could have gotten out of it by resigning his commission, but decided not to, telling me "If I did that, some other guy would have to go." God bless him.

This summer, when he finishes his master's degree, he'll make Lt. Col. That'll probably mean he won't have to go. I'm thankful. I lost one close friend to violent death last year. I don't think I can handle another.

Erik Donald France said...

I'll keep an eye out for these. And the yellow ribbons. In Dearborn, it's mostly Lebanese flags.

'Bubbles' said...

It makes me so sad. You are so right. There is a military base in the area, but *certainly* you don't see the flags in *this* area. (total sarcasm, I assure you)

What troubles me is that there used to be dedications to service people on the news... it is gone now. WTF. Isn't it as interesting as Paris Hilton??

Yikes. I want to do something... but I'm at a loss.

GETkristiLOVE said...

I'm not sure who it was (you or Vikki?) that told me to rent The Ground Truth, but it's a great documentary. It's a sad truth but very well done. I recommend it to bubbles and cheer if you guys want to see more of what's going on.

Johnny Yen said...

It was Vikki-- I took her excellent recommendation and posted about it later.

Yes, everyone should see it. I actually bought it after Netflixing it, in order to lend it to people.