My hate this week is actually directed toward myself. Well, I am getting ready to get mad at myself…again. Here’s why.
This Monday, Ted Koppel will once again air a program called, “The Fallen.” If you aren’t familiar with what this program is all about, well, it’s exactly what you think it is. Koppel simply reads a list of the names of every American serviceman who has lost his or her life in Afghanistan and Iraq. When each name is read, an accompanying picture is shown when available. Usually one is. And for the sickest of cynics out there, myself guilty as charged, this program isn’t a sweeps stunt. Sweeps ends today.
I saw the first incarnation of this program last year, and I found myself riddled with guilt. I could barely contain my sadness, but more so, I became angry with myself. What the hell have I done? What am I doing to better the world? I’m not even talking about military service, I’m talking about life.
When you look at all of the pictures, all of the faces, for some reason, people who have not lost loved ones in the war begin to understand what these other families must go through.
So often, special TV news stories are made to “inspire,” us and make us feel “thankful,” that we weren’t raised on the streets of Lima, Peru, selling our kidney just to get a bed to sleep on. The problem is, the media produces so many of these stories of sorrow, that most of them fall flat. “The Fallen,” gets it right, by doing things as simply and impartially as possible. No music, no fancy graphics, just names.
In “The Fallen,” Koppel’s detached, monotone delivery is put to perfect use. While he reads name after name, after name, hopefully you, like I, will really take a look at yourself, and what you are doing with your life, because you are still here, and they are not.
As John McCain often says, Americas need to be “inspired to commit themselves to a cause greater than their self interest.” If that doesn’t ring true on Memorial Day, then watch “The Fallen,” and it will, and I’m not even a Republican.
On this Memorial Day, why don’t we all try and strive for something a little better in ourselves.
Until next week, pour yourself a tall glass of “get off your ass,” and do something.