Soft be Her Tears

Le-TricoloreParis grieves and I do with her.

It seems pointless to stick to a normal schedule in the wake of such madness. Those of us who were in Manhattan on a September morn fourteen years ago know too well the shock, sadness and anger Paris is experiencing.

Paris is the world city I know best after New York. I’ve rambled all over its streets, ridden the Metro to points more distant, relaxed in its cafes and ambience. It is difficult to remember that the City of Light has often seen, as it is seeing now, war.

War is a harsh word, one Mssr. Hollande, I am sure, chose carefully.  But it is the apt word. The grand strategists, the students of von Claussewitz and von Metternich, like to say war is diplomacy by other means. But what if diplomacy is not the desired end?

Because before there was grand strategy there was harsh reality: war imposes a cost in blood and treasure so high that at some point it forces a change.  That is the goal that terror seeks, expending lives to take lives in the quest of who knows what end. The logic of war–the lesson of the century just past–is that halfway measures don’t even achieve halfway results.

I fear for the children, my own included. The world seems unlikely to cooperate in delivering security.  I hope for the best but the madness of this moment seems too deep.

For now, I mourn with Paris.




Color Him Father

Thomas L. McCreight
December 2, 1928–June 8, 2015

The Lion in Winter My Dad, May 2015

The Lion in Winter
My Dad, May 2015

Until now this space has limited the personal to opinion. That’s by design. Today I’m breaking that mold to write about my father who passed away on June 8. Roman Catholic ritual doesn’t embrace eulogies so consider this his.

Almost anyone born at the start of or during the Great Depression can tell tales of want and fear. Even my mother-in-law, born in 1932 of two college-educated parents, could summon a tale or two. My dad’s tale is a bit worse than many. Born into difficult circumstances he and his brother, who was two or three years older, were removed from their mother’s care and sent to an orphanage run by Dominican Continue reading