Dedication to David
David Brandhorst would be about thirteen years old today. He would be back in school, catching up with friends by text message, and scrambling to finish his homework. He probably would spend a little time on Xbox Live, worry about high school next year, and wonder if Madison really was interested in him like he heard. Well never know.
David was murdered on United Airlines Flight 175 by monsters who flew his plane into the World Trade Center. He never did anything to antagonize them, scare them, or threaten them. He was three years old, flying home with his father from an exciting vacation in Boston. His world at that time was probably about dinosaurs, toy trains, and Play-Doh, not caliphates, islamofascism, or Israel.
Late at night, sometimes maybe, he would burrow into bed in his flannel jammies, look into the shadows of his bedroom, and ask his dad in a tiny voice if there really were such things as monsters. His father, Daniel, probably smiled and reassured him that monsters didnt really exist, and that he would always be there to protect him. But neither suspected that monsters really did exist, and that he and his father would be helpless to stop the savagery of what would follow.
We talk a great deal about the bravery of the first responders, of the ordinary people transformed into heroes, and of the survivors who captured the sights, sounds, and smells of the day. But no one stops to remember David, who was a clever, charming, and giggling boy who, today, would certainly be a warm, engaging, and witty eighth-grader with dozens of friends.
Today, we wonder if the fighting in Afghanistan is worth it. We accuse each other of paranoia and xenophobia, and this unending war on terror. We even dismiss this event as a man-caused disaster. But Davids loss serves as a chilling, reminder that there are many more monsters in the world, who demonstrably will not hesitate to murder a delightful three-year-old simply because he lives in America. Not because he carried a rifle, flew a fighter, or launched Tomahawks, but because he was American and would one day believe in freedom.
And some night soon, when you nestle into bed and look into the dark gloom of your own bedroom, think about David and realize that there really are monsters out there. And the shadows in which they lurk best are those of denial, doubt, and reluctance to speak out.
What great things David would have achieved.
Божію Поспѣшествующею Милостію Мы, Дима Грозный Императоръ и Самодержецъ Всероссiйскiй, цѣсарь Московскiй. The Czar was born in the steppes of Russia in 1267, and was cheated out of total control of all Russia upon the death of Boris Mikhailovich, who replaced Alexander Yaroslav Nevsky in 1263. However, in 1283, our Czar was passed over due to a clerical error and the rule of all Russia went to his second cousin Daniil (Даниил Александрович), whom Czar still resents. As a half-hearted apology, the Czar was awarded control over Muscovy, inconveniently located 5,000 miles away just outside Chicago. He now spends his time seething about this and writing about other stuff that bothers him.