Friday, July 08, 2005

A hero

One of my favorite web sites is Where's George, a site that lets you track dollar bills as they make their way from your hands to the rest of the world. A couple of days ago I received a notification on a bill that inspired me to write this note.
Here's a link to our bill:

First of all, I want you to know that I never write to the people who find my bills. I've got thousands of them floating around out there, so I'd be awfully busy if I wrote a message every time someone found one. I couldn't help myself, though, when I saw the note you left on this bill. What a thrill to know that one of my Georges found its way to a member of the Thunderbirds! I have my Where's George account set up to notify me whenever someone finds one of my bills and enters a note. I just get the beginning of the message, though, so your note said something like "Got it from Nellis Air Force Base Dining...." It wasn't until I logged on to read the whole message that I found out the truly exciting part. The Thunderbirds! Wow!

Today was difficult. I can't say that it gave me flashbacks of 9/11, but there were similarities: Waking up and hearing the news on TV. Searching for numbers -- how many were killed by this hatred? And the one syllable question that won't stop echoing in my head: Why? I don't suppose I'll ever understand the why of this senseless killing; I've been trying to wrap my brain around it for almost four years, and it still eludes me.

I tell you these thoughts, though, because I want to thank you and your team members for giving us all the intangible gift of inspiration and morale. It's easy for us to feel despair when we see evil take the lives of innocents, but it's comforting to witness what our country is capable of -- the skill of those who defend us, the precision of the machines they command. I don't know if you're a pilot or a member of the support team, but you are important to our country. You're an American who makes me proud to say I'm an American.

If you read my Where's George profile, you saw that I promised you wouldn't receive junk mail messages. I won't write to you again. I don't want to be a pest. I just thought for a long time about this message and felt it was important to write it...especially today. I'm so proud one of my dollar bills made it into the hands of someone who is so important to our country. In this one week I've gone from the pride of celebrating America's independence to the sorrow of seeing terror reach out to bring suffering to those who did nothing wrong. In the middle of this, this one little piece of paper gave me a connection to you, one person who is part of the greatest power on earth. Thank you for all you do.

"Just Amy"


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