Our Honored Dead

war memorial

© Sandra Crook

“You consider this site to be a war memorial, Jonathan?”

“It’s foolish to see it otherwise, Raven. In fourteen years, an American President will give Iran nearly two billion dollars in cash ostensibly to inhibit their nuclear weapons development, but the hideous result was to fund a whole new era in world terrorism. How many more World Trade Centers is the future facing?”

“Our holographic presence allows us this view of the destruction, but how do you propose to heal such a pervasive characteristic in humanity?”

“I can’t fix it all, but I’ve got to start somewhere.”

wtc

Aerial view of the World Trade Center site taken September 23, 2001

I wrote this for the Rochelle Wisoff-Fields writing challenge. The idea is to take the image above and use it to inspire the creation of a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long. My word count is 97.

The monument in the photo contains the words “A Nos Morts” which I’ve learned refers to a vast number of war memorials commemorating those who died during World War One. That made me think of the site of the World Trade Center formerly known as “Ground Zero” which led me to consider the state of world terrorism.

Getting political, I also recalled that terrorism takes money and Iran is the principal source of finances for middle eastern terrorism and its effects all around the world. Giving Iran $1.7 billion in 2015 probably didn’t stop their nuclear weapons program and it certainly gave terrorism a big, big boost.

My character Jonathan Cypher, who just yesterday discovered his purpose is now looking at how best to begin “fixing the world.” Can his dreams change reality so radically as to eliminate all forms of terrorism or will he only be able to alter specific expressions of it?

To read other stories based on the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.

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66 thoughts on “Our Honored Dead

    • Thanks, Rochelle. You’re probably right, but since I’ve imbued my character Jonathan Cypher with extraordinary abilities which can be used to change certain outcomes in various quantum universes, he might be able to come close.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I knew someone would bring that up, however I’m talking about a wider field of terrorism that Iran is bankrolling, though they are allowing other nations to provide the “soldiers” or “cannon fodder” as it were.

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    • As a soul he’s pretty much immortal (I can’t think of what could actually injure him although I suppose it’s possible). Also, he’s changing events in multiple quantum realities, so not all of them have the same history as ours. He may not be able to affect everything, but even saving a single human life is worthwhile.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. It’s a story that keeps repeating. To counter the Russians during the cold war, USA funded and armed a Afghani warmonger and that guy was Osama Bin Laden. Nice interpretation here, James.

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    • I’m using the term in the sense of Tikkun Olam or the repairing of a damaged world. It can be thought of as something simple like maintaining a road or setting the table. It’s any act that makes the world or some part of it a little bit of a better place to live. Just smiling at someone can be considered such an act and it has the benefit of being something each of us can do.

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    • The Jewish understanding of the Messiah is that he will literally restore the people and nation of Israel, but will “fix” or heal the world. It’s actually a lot more involved than that, but it also contains the idea that each of us can do our part. We don’t have to sit around on our thumbs and wait.

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  2. A powerful story of hope with the decision and willingness to act.
    Wonderful!
    Thanks, as always, for sharing your research and thoughts behind the story in the ‘afterward’.

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  3. Interesting flash. Funding dictators and tyrants has always been a flaw in US policy. The problem with strategically allying with dictators is the civilian casualties, nowadays called “collateral damage”. While foreign policy concerns have often led America to prop up dictatorial regimes, they need a new rule: no democracy, no aid.

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  4. No matter how many memorial halls or statues were built to remind us of the Great War to end all wars, memory fades.
    It appears, as your story tells, human nature is destructive.

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    • I’d agree that the reason we don’t and probably won’t have “world peace” is because of human nature. That’s why the Christians have Christ and the Jews have Messiah, the hope that a King will rise who will overcome that nature and rule as the King of Peace. Not sure human beings could sustain a peaceful planet for more than a few seconds.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks although I must say (flying in the face of convention) there may be times when war is necessary. What if, even after Pearl Harbor, the U.S. had continued to refuse to enter World War Two? How might history have changed and would it have been right to let the attack on our soil go unanswered?

      Liked by 1 person

      • In recent history – till last decade there was a world-wide political emphasis on globalization. Unfortunately the liberal view did not sustain and the conservative thinking returned and now it is back to national boundaries and ethnic values across the world (at least in many countries).

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