Where are you from?

AFAIn college, when asked where I was from, I would proclaim, “I’m from Colorado Springs!” Eyes would light up in recognition. “Isn’t that…?” “Yes,” I would nod. Nestled at the foot of Pikes Peak. The inspiration for America the Beautiful. Home to Garden of the Gods, the Air Force Academy, NORAD, the Olympic Training Center. I could proudly claim them all.

My how times have changed. Still happy to reside in Colorado, I do not readily admit that I live in Colorado Springs. When my secret is uncovered, eyes narrow with suspicion. “Isn’t that…?” “Yes,” I say as my shoulders sag. Focus on the Family, New Life Church, Ted Haggard, Raytheon, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin.

My home town, my slice of purple mountain majesty, has become ground zero for war profiteers and religious zealots.

Although we don’t know many of them by name, they have a profound impact on our community. They shape local politics. They vote down cultural and environmental initiatives, and deny tax support for helping organizations. They control school boards and change school curricula. They chase away our artists and our young idealists. They drive our gay population back into the closet. And they profit from the spilled blood of our children.

They and their ilk put George W. Bush in the White House. They continue to support our country’s assaults on sovereign nations in order to advance their narrow ideologies and line their gaping pockets. The shame I feel when people discover that I am from Colorado Springs is the same shame felt by many Americans traveling abroad. “We are from the United States,” they mumble. Ground zero for war profiteers and religious zealots….

1 thought on “Where are you from?

  1. AvatarTony Logan

    Aw shucks, Marie, you could be from Texas… My little girl even gives me a hard time on that one. She asks me just how I could have allowed her to be born in El Paso! And you know what? I don’t have a good answer for that really.

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