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Sunday, Sept. 16, 2001
I caved in to the eldest daughter.

If you're a parent, preferably with a teenager or two, this bit of self depreciating enlightenment is hardly going to raise much more than a whispered whoo hooo.

Fact is, senior Miss plays a mean game of softball. Fastpitch. The competative kind. All year long. Between touring teams, high school teams and training programs for both she is quite the busy lass. And she's been doing this since she was, oh...9 or so.

She conned me into a visit to a college to watch other girls play softball. College softball. Has friends there, you see.

And that was my Saturday. Three hours up, 8 hours of softball, 3 hours back. Yes, college football might be taking a siesta this weekend but the girls recognize no such thing as putting a halt to the game in"honor of those killed this week."

And I put that in quotations because I have some quiet problems with the whole deal of shutting down the country, lighting candles, ribbons and bows. Where exactly is all this patriotism coming from? Love of country doesn't come overnight. You don't just turn it on and off. I read somewhere that a lot of this candle lighting stuff is more self serving than anything else, and I lean into that wind a whole lot more comfortably than not. Who exactly feels more empowered and benificent after a candle is lit? It surely isn't the dead.

I'd take it a step further and say that Americans love that emotional rush they get from such ceremony (assuming they can shelve it next month), but my cynicisum meter is pegged already. Folks, honor the fallen by flying your flag everday. By donating blood regularly. By supporting the armed forces, and the people who lead them. Most importantly, by just generally not being superficial about what's important in this country and in your life.

I really enjoyed a day away from having to think about all that. It was a normal day dealing with normal things, and softball. Things worth protecting. Thanks, eldest.

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