“I, [name], do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”
Once it’s gone, it’s gone. Once the ground has been pierced for one more oil well, cracked open for one more coal mine, or bulldozed flat for one more factory it can’t be put back to the way that it was. This development might not be bad if jobs are created, and if those managers and owners of drillers, miners, and development are also stewards for the land that they are scarring. That the suffering of the land, the dirtying of the skies, and the poisoning of the rivers leads to an improvement for our overall quality of life and a bettering of our natural world in the future. But I don’t think that this is possible right now. Because this is the time of blatant greed, of naked attempts at taking land by use of personal power. Of getting rid of any rule or regulation that hurts the bottom line, even if it destroys land, water, or air for others. Of paying many people much less so that a few can make a lot more. This is the time of tearing down the old because it’s old, without regard for the longevity of what will be put in its place. History has a record of what happens to growth under these conditions, and it usually doesn’t end well.
Most of the time I don’t even think about The Flood. But, like water, every once in a while the memories seep in and fill the mind. Normally this happens at times that are totally unexpected, set off by a sound, or a smell. And, like the water, the memories surface, swirl around awhile, then float away. Those events of twenty years ago have been weighing heavily on my heart and mind for the last month or so, brought to the surface by the twentieth anniversary, and held there by all that has changed in my adopted home over the last two decades.
I know in my heart that every time our country strikes in vengeance, rather than reaches out in friendship, that our goals of safety slide farther out of reach.