Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Blood of the Young Patriots

I wrote this poem in the wake of 9-11 in response to the wave of not-always-holy patriotism that came out of it.

“God Bless America” reads the merchant’s marquees
For as far and wide as the eye can see
And on the road, “Old Glory’s” being bought and sold
At some stands for near the price of gold

But before I bow to pay my respects
There are a few facts on which I first must reflect
For until I do I just cannot rave
About a flag that I’m now forced to wave

Do you recall how the law of “supply and demand”
Routed our native Americans from their own land?
Or how blacks were bought and sold as slaves
And slaughtered if as “equals” they dared behave

Or in WWII, our Japanese citizens sent to prison
Their lands confiscated, their rights in derision
As for my ancestors? Their old photos do not lie
Shop signs back then declared, “No Irish need apply”

“But Tom, you speak now about all our old ills
Corrected by the strength of our collective wills
Those prejudices are now a part of our past.”
To which I reply to my friend, “Not so fast –

Mother Teresa warned me our country will never be great
Until we stop killing our unborn at such a grand rate.”
“Whoa! I’m afraid that you ... are now assumin’
That those ... creatures ... are ... already HUMAN

Surely it can’t be that bad ... I mean, after all – ”
“Why? Because these babies don’t scream when their bodies fall?”
I tell you these helpless young patriots DO feel
And I proclaim that their blood is just as real

And though I shed tears for the victims of the terrorist threats
I mourn with extra grief over their young deaths
For unlike the suicide flights those foreigners had flown
Their abortions were brought on by some of our own

But if my prophesies still strike you as somewhat suspect
For they are far from being politically correct
I hope now, at least, that you can understand
Why I do not wave the flag upon demand

Still, I pray that the day is not yet lost
When I can wave the flag as proudly as I now wear the Cross
And I will again give glory to the “Stars and Stripes”
The moment our Young Patriots regain their rights

Tom O’Toole
November 13, 2001
The Feast of Mother Cabrini


Mike McLaren said...

Dear "Fighting Irish Tom"

It is proper that we never forget our national sins, whether current or historical. But I think it's sad and unfortunate that your apparent first reaction to this horrendous national disaster was to reflect on these sins.

If you don't feel compelled to display signs of patriotism after our country has been attacked, then don't. But if you wait until our country is without sin before you love it, honor it, or rush to defend it, it will never be loved, honored or defended.

I've been a big city cop for 29 years and as a result I have more than most seen first hand the ravages our country has suffered because of the influences of the evil one. My heart too is broken because of the wickedness of the murder of millions of beautiful defenseless children.

I am not a lettered, highly educated sophisticated person like many of those who might read this blog, so forgive me if I ramble a bit. But I do know evil when I see it and I know we don't have the time or luxuary to pace about ringing our hands.

Tom, to stand up in unity with our fellow Americans and waive "old glory" in defiance of our enemy is not to forget our sins. The war that is being waged against our country by the forces of evil is a multi front one. As I pray for the defeat of the evil forces in Aurora, Illinois, I also pray for the defeat of the evil forces in the middle east.

Our Lady of Victory, pray for us.

Mike McLaren

Tom O'Toole said...


Thanks for your heartfelt comments; I agree with almost all you said. But know that "Blood" was no knee-jerk reaction; it was written a full two months after 9-11 when the dust had settled. The poem only aruges against patriotism when it is placed above faith, the blind patriotism that can cause followers to do good and evil. THAT's why Mother Teresa said what she did about Our Country and abortion, and why John Paul the Great vehemently asked President Bush to not invade Iraq. Remember, Martin Luther King, was vilified by many at the time but now he is celebrated as a great patriot too.