You can see it in your neighborhood; the house on the corner seems empty. The lawn is over grown the bushes need trimming and a rope hangs from a branch that once ignited a child’s dreams of flying. At night not a single light is on. The darkness is haunting as happier memories fade into misery, embarrassment and hopelessness. Where did they go? No one knows as another family is added to a list of statistics.

You can see it on the driveways around your neighborhood, two cars sit silent instead of one. Neighbors watch knowing something is different hoping that Bill or Thomas across the cul-de-sac is vacationing or taking a leave absence instead of the alternative. After weeks pass the neighbor that shared a quick conversation with you is no longer there. In fact, he tries to avoid you always peeking out the window, making sure no one is walking their dogs or washing their cars before he dashes for the mail or evening paper.

You’ve seen it at the grocery stores, gas stations, and schools.

We now belong to a displaced generation, a group that doesn’t want to answer questions from neighbors, family or friends. Equally the neighbors, family and friends stop asking, “How’s the job search going?” In the grocery stores they walk the aisles expressionless avoiding eye contact with anyone that might ask, “How’s it going?”

Their eyes tell a story of anguish and depression longing for a break to do what they were meant to do, work. But they know there is no end in sight. CNN is reporting 10 % unemployment but some say it’s more like 15% maybe close to 20% in some states. The only recourse is to search and submit hoping for a reply from one of the one hundred résumé’s sent this month. If only the news would tell a real story, the story of a neighbor watching another home with overgrow scrubs and an uncut lawn. Another empty dwelling and a families dream put on hold. Tell the story of the rope swing that hangs still in the front yard.

If they could see through the eyes of men lost and alone not knowing were to turn.
If they could see through the eyes of men that want to provide comfort, security and to just feel worth again.

It’s now common to see men picking up children at school, shopping for food and driving through town during the day. It’s common, but it’s not right. They would rather be somewhere else earning, providing comforting. It’s been too long facing the morning with no purpose. It’s been too long to be able to plan beyond today. You can’t rationalize your way out of what only can be described as devastation.

Did it take 5 years after the Towers fell to really destroy our way of life? We watched as first responders resuscitated a nation. We supported decisions to help stimulate and revitalize. But we were blinded by our willingness to overcome adversity never seeing what really attacked us, the real weapon of mass destruction, ourselves. We were so sure we conquered evil rebounding after a massive attack never realizing the worst was yet to come.

Our enemies knew us all too well, the Trojan horse delivered on September 11th disguised as a single attack was never the real threat? It was our willingness to turn the page, move on, forget and start spending that lead us here. They knew we would do exactly that. Now we stand in line for another job that doesn’t exist. As we walk in the footsteps of men we never thought we’d follow.

As you step outside to get your mail or pick up the evening news paper you turn and look at the home that never really was yours. At least that’s what you tell yourself.

If they could see through the eyes of men that no longer blame anyone but themselves for letting it happen.
If they could see through the eyes of men that would sacrifice their sole just to be able to provide again.
If they could see through the eyes of men that would give back if only there was something to give.
If they could see through the eyes of men that have become irreversibly damaged by this economic reset yet must go on.

For the first time in our lifetime, we don’t know what the future holds in fact many don’t care anymore. What they do care about is someone stepping up and just telling us the truth, so that we all can just move on. The truth would not only set us free it would enable this displaced generation to see hope again in the eyes of men.

God Bless America