Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Ain't That America?

One of my favorite John Mellencamp lines, from "Pink Houses." The first photo is painted on the side of the Canal Street Self-Storage, and its not centered because I snapped it from a speeding el, the second photo is from the Faces display in Union Station, and the last photo is of a mangled squad car on 9/11. I am aware that the 343 firefighters who died that day were more heroic in their efforts, but as the son of a cop, I'm still mildly angry at the fact that so little mention was made of the 108 police officers who also died. My father was ten feet away from the fuselage of the American Airlines flight that missed Midway Airport by seven blocks in December of 1972. Ten feet away, watching people melt as the main engines blew up. He fought to help survivors out, part of the plane had landed on a garage. He still has frostbite in one foot from standing in frozen sludge for hours. Never filed for disability, because that's not what James Leland Sallee would do. Our house smelled like smoke and blood for days. The bombing of the Murrah Building in 1995 did not make me recall the Midway crash as 9/11 did, I guess because it was planes hitting the WTC that brought it all back. And a lot of cops died that day. Firefighters, too. Doing what needs to be done. Well, we made it to our 230th birthday. Cheers. ...Wayne


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