New York Times Obituaries page A-22
Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 12:46:39 PM PDT
*America, United States of
(b.July 4, 1776, d. September 28th, 2006)*
An historic moment came yesterday when the world's oldest democracy,
its greatest and youngest nation quietly passed away in her sleep.
"The world is a darker place." lamented several saddened and tearful
citizens. "I have known America my entire life, she knew my parents
and my parent's parents and I am speechless with grief. We did all we
could. I can't believe she is gone."
America passed away yesterday after a long fight with cancer; cancer
of the congress specifically. Her ten year battle for survival endured
two presidencies and several false remissons. She nearly capitulated her
struggle in 1998 during the Clinton Impeachment hearings, but somehow
she managed to push through.
"She lasted 230 years. She was a tough old broad, but history shows
us that no gets out of this world alive not even the most vibrant,
inspiring and hopeful democracy the world has ever seen", wept a
Born in 1776 to a cadre of European revolutionaries who raised her
to be different from any nation the world had ever seen, America was
fortunate to be the daughter of many brilliant and attentive fathers.
They shaped her (unwittingly or not) to be a beacon of hope to the
world's citizens depite their own subjugation in despotic regimes. She
welcomed those who were oppressed, rejected or ignored by their own
countries and offered them a chance at a new life. And, for this
reason, she grew quickly and grew strong. So strong that at the
tender age of 85, she survived a breath-taking attempt on her life with the
help of her friend and protector, President Abraham Lincoln.
Once a fragile and insecure nation, she grew to be the true leader of
the world, serving as a bellweather for new democracies that began to
spring up around the globe.
"She led by example." said former president Bill Clinton. "The world
felt safer just knowing she was there. Even if they were poor,
vulnerable and a stricken populus, other nations knew that help
could be asked of her and more often than not, she gave and gave much. She
offered money, medical supplies, food to starving populations,
protection and did so with no expectation of reimbursement."
Her greatest and most historic moment for which she is best
remembered was, ironically, her amazing and improbable victory over the
forces of fascism in Europe in the 1940's. The same type of fascism that
eventually took her own life, she smashed for the good of the entire
world and showed them them a better way.
Never a wall-flower and always controversial, America did her best,
but admittedly had some notable and egregious lapses; Rwanda, Darfur,
East Timor and many others, yet her mystique and unfailing optimism again
and again perplexed, befuddled and eventually won over a war-weary world
who felt the flicker of hope in their own lives take hold because of
Recently, even though she refused to be slowed down, coddled or
pitied, her illness had clearly taken it's toll; she had one of her basic
insitutions, fair voting, removed during a painful operation six
years ago in 2000 that people close to her said she had never truly fully
recovered from although she maintained a brave face. She also had
her fourth estate amputated under mysterious and controversial
circumcstances. Through it all, however, her hope remained as did
"She had endured so much, survived so many trials that no ever really
thought she could ever really die. But looking back that was
foolish, complacence and naivete." said a constitutional scholar.
As is the way of life confronting death, America fought to the end.
Ironically, her optimism, grace, generosity and faith that helped her
live so long were betrayed by her congressional cancer and even as
she gave ground again and again the cancer eventually spread into her
heart of hearts; spread into an area no doctor ever thought the cancer
could spread to -- eventually did; her foundation, her soul, her greatest
asset as well as her sometimes most frustrating trait; the heart that
pumped her blood, the congressional cancer carved habeas corpus right
out of her broad and warm bosom.
Without habeas corpus, America's heart slowly subsided and faded
until no heartbeat could be detected. And she lie there still and peaceful.
And so on the afternoon of September 28th, 2006, America, like so
many great and admirable entities in history, passed into and became a
part of history. She went gently into her goodnight. Many of her citizens
did not even know that she was ill, never mind that she had passed.
Upon seeing the deep sadness and fear from some of their fellow
citizens who DID know and cherish her, many of these reacted with shrugging
disdain at the "over-reaction", thinking that they had known her too,
but in reality had, in foolish complacence and naivete took her for
granted--even in death refusing to admit to themselves she was gone.
As my father would most likely say if he were alive today, who fought
side by side with her in World War II, who passed away days before
her mortal wound inflicted on September 11th, 2001; The wound that
metastisized her congressional cancer,
"She will be deeply missed and her absence will most certainly be
felt for generations to come."
Rest in Peace