By the time people see a missile in the sky, there is no longer the red glare of ignition, just a gray stream parting the clouds or glowing in the sun. But some will see the ultimate red glare — the explosion and fire of impact and the eery glow as it incinerates all unfortunate enough to be in its way.
Most Americans who sing of the Rocket’s Red Glare in the national anthem have never seen such a thing, except perhaps in the movies. Only a few have seen the long gray tail streaking across the sky in the ominous arc unique to a missile’s trajectory after its launch. Of course, soldiers who defend their nations have seen it all, from the red burst of ignition to the fire on impact, with its deadly explosion obliterating the target. Many have died trying to keep their loved ones from becoming familiar with such things.
But there are thousands of civilians in Israel who have seen what only soldiers of other countries see. There are thousands who have felt the shock and suffered the heat, breathing the stench of death as their loved ones are blown out of existence or maimed, leaving them to live in suffering and pain. Many of these are childrens who were in their kindergartens and schools or playing football with their friends. Many are mothers and fathers at work or home, grandparents and family.
A few of the first rocket victims (2004-5):
Ella, 17*; Yuval, 4*; Dana, 22*
Every time a Red Siren sounds its warning, panic sets in. By then, there is no time and no way to protect loved ones or prevent someone from dying.
For all these, the Rocket’s Red Glare is a daily reality. When the news announces that the rocket hit an open field or beach, when the announcers says, ‘we were lucky’, ‘the rocket just missed a school’, or ‘the children had already left’, or ‘the school bus was already empty’, the Jewish population of tiny Israel (and some who stand with her) breath a collective sigh of relief…..but there is no chance to relax and go on. For the next one may strike in 5 minutes or 30, in 1 day or 2, but it will certainly come.
Only by the Grace of God has the kill ratio of these murderous attacks has been low. But as a result, the world has become so used to the reports that they no longer really hear them, or if they do, they just shrug it off as inconsequential…far less important than the mundane tasks of seeing a friend, taking the kids ot school or going to meetings.
God willing, the Rocket’s Red Glare will not become a daily occurance in the lives of most of the world’s children, but should it be so one day, everyone should remember the daily cross-border rocket attacks started in Israel, seemingly insignificantly in a far away place where there seems to have always been wars, and when these children died, not many cared. There was no flotilla and no NATO. There was neither hunger strikes nor international outcry by the human rights organizations and the the protectors of the oppressed were silent.
Even now this evil is spreading to other lands. While Israel will defend her innocent civilians, as long as others deny the threat is real, as long as they pretend that there is no danger to themselves, the rockets will fly today here, tomorrow there, in every land the red glare of the conflagration will engulf all — if not today, then tomorrow. And no one should think they are too isolated, distant or protected: where the rockets cannot yet reach, their will be bombs and fires — in forests, in homes and cars — in indiscriminate attacks meant to create fear, destroy and inflict suffering on humans, animals, the economy and the environment.
Our message to those who think they can placate, appease, or bribe the agressors back into a peaceful life: KNOW it is an illusion, a deceit and a lie. They will not stop until they rule — Israel, the West, the poor and yes, even the powerful. They will own the entire world, through intimidation, torture, fear. The constant red of blood running in the streets and fiery explosions of their missiles striking indescriminately in every far corner of this world is the reality they seek.
Wake up and stop it while you still can.