Dr. Ross L. Riggs www.docriggs.com
The Police Blotter www.homelandsecuritynet.com
Numbers are a part of daily life. From the time you awake in the morning with the time, temperature, DOW and NASAQ, numbers are assailing your mind. It is easy to turn them off. Yesterday was Memorial Day for the Nation of Israel, mourning their war dead. The number that was reported was of soldiers killed in action, just soldiers, not civilians. A common misperception of a country’s number of fallen heroes is directly impacted when the war is taking place on your home soil.
There was the number. It was easy to read right past it, kindly note it, allow the thought of it to pause a moment and then continue reading. This time, something caused me to stop on that number and try to put it in perspective. I first thought about it being a counting of just soldiers and how many more there would be listed if it included civilians slain for the cause of a Jewish homeland. That helped, but only for a moment, as well. Then I thought about all of the families and friends whose lives are forever changed by such a loss. That was cause for reflection, but still it was not hitting for me in the heart like I expected. It was still just a number.
Then, it came to me. Until something is personal, particularly a number or statistic, it is just that, a number. So I made it personal. I grew up in Wayne County, Ohio. Wayne County is probably typical of every small mid-western county in the U.S. Lots of farm families, some factory workers and an overwhelming importance on fall high school football! Town hall meetings were as a much a part of the life as Sunday church with afternoon’s at Grandma’s for Sunday dinner. At that is when it came to me, the numbers connection. A fairly representative analogy for the number of soldiers killing fighting for the freedom of Israel would be about equal to the concept of every man and woman, father, mother, every adult between the ages of 18 and 65 in Wayne County Ohio stepping up to die for the cause of keeping Ohio free. Now I can see it. Now I can feel it. The empty streets. The empty homes. The lost children and the panicked elderly. Gone, all of them sacrificing their lives to be sure and certain that Ohio remains, as the logo says, The Heart of It All. The rest continue on, owing a huge debt of gratitude to those who gave it all and respect and honor must go to the survivors whose lives are forever changed by their absences.