I Love Freedom and I Love France

Many years ago I found myself in the city of Paris. I was walking along in my beret carrying a baquette in a feeble Americana effort to blend in. Standing on the corner of a busy intersection I watched in horror as a young man on a Vespa, in an effort to avoid a collision, tipped his motorbike and slid underneath a railway car full of people that continued on its path right over him, trapping him beneath. We all stood there in shock. People started yelling for everyone on board the train to get off. That’s when I saw the woman next to me walk up and grab underneath the railway car. She looked at us and shouted and we all joined her out of instinct, reaching underneath the massive train and prepared to lift. I heard something I believed was counting in French and then we all gave it all of our strength. I was amazed to feel the car begin to raise in our hands. I heard bystanders cheer as the adrenaline pumped through all of us. There was great applause and cheers and I realized it was done. We had raised the train enough for someone to pull the man out from underneath it. In all of my time on this planet and travels I have never been more amazed by a group of people in their value of life and their willingness to go to protect it against all odds.

It makes me sad that we’ve gone to war today, but I also am relieved on a somewhat different level that it has finally begun, the inevitable I have been out there protesting against. There will be no more daily news reports of continued threats against Iraq. It is done. War is here and because France is standing against the war in Iraq, in one of the stupidest moves I’ve ever heard of, they’re trying to change what we all call french fries to freedom fries to prove a point.

Talking to my typically Republican 85-year-old mother last night on the phone, she said, “Can you believe we’ve gone to war? He has to be the single worst president in the history of the United States. He has destroyed our relationship internationally and he’s destroying all the systems to help seniors and children and those in need across America in the process. I never dreamed I’d see such stupidity in my lifetime.”

I’m going out for a nice big delicious platter of hot, salty french fries, which will always be french, even though they probably never really were to begin with, extra ketchup please.