Shortly before the dawn's early light of what was Sunday, October 23, 1983, the first American military casualties of The Next Nameless Unending War occurred.
At the time of the murderous bombing at the Beirut International Airport, the Evil we were facing seemed to have no shape or name, at least none that we knew or knew of.
We now know that Evil to be Al Qaeda and to include the various crazies who've broken off from the Mothership to form themselves into even more virulent and violent sects but who share a common heritage of depravity and deprivation and a goal of the triumph of a Hate so unbearably bleak as to be beyond comprehension.
In other times and circumstances its adherents would be invisible and insignificant within a global context that marginalized them to the brink of extinction, doomed to lead lives of quiet desperation but the emergence and the convergence of technologies and the ubiquity with which lies make their way into fundamentalist belief systems, regardless of the beliefs, has inflated their importance and impact beyond all beats and bounds.
The rest of us, three decades later, live at such a pace that even attempting to think of the 241 American Marines, Soldiers and Sailors who died in what we've come to call the Beirut Barracks Bombing, requires more time and thought than many of us are willing to spare and so we've reduced these First Innocents Murdered in the Global War on Terror to an intellectual abstraction because contemplating their individual humanity would reduce us to sorrow without surcease with our tears like unending rain.
And no single drop of rain feels itself responsible for the flood which follows.