She would always have the brightest smile as she stood at the intersection of Avenue T and Ocean Ave in Brooklyn, N.Y. circa 1968.
She was our crossing guard and we all loved Mrs. Lombardo.
Each morning and afternoon during school days she would greet each and every kid who passed by her post. On Sundays, before and after each Catholic Mass at St. Edmunds church, she would be there, again with that contagious smile.
The young kids loved her as one would love a favorite aunt, and the seniors, who seemed to make up a majority of each Sunday mass, enjoyed the special care Mrs. Lombardo offered them.
Then, perhaps sometime in 1968, her son Tommy joined the Marines along with his childhood buddy Pete Haros, of the Haros Coffee shop on Avenue U.
A year later Pete returned to the coffee shop from his tour of duty in Vietnam unscathed. Tommy returned in a box!
Mrs. Lombardo still took up her post on that corner, but the sparkling smile was replaced by what this writer remembers as a ‘Mona Lisa smile’ or half frown. As with the lady in the famous portrait, Mrs. Lombardo had too much to say without saying a thing.
Memorial Day is around the corner once again, and it seems ‘The Dogs of War’ are at it as always. Fifty plus years ago there were 58, 220 Tommy Lombardos who would never see the smiles of their Moms ever again.
Factor that in with approximately 2 million Vietnamese who lost their lives, and one can deduce what our empire’s imperial presence meant. For what? For whom? Yet, each and every year spanning these decades, our empire’s handlers and their compliant, embedded media sell us this fake and false bill of goods. They honor those dead as ‘fallen heroes’ when they should be apologizing for using them as pawns for the geopolitical game they play.
Fast forward to 2002 until the present and see how the scam continues. Phony wars following the dictates of what Zbigniew Brzezinski labeled ‘The Grand Chessboard’ for the key Eurasian region were in play… then and NOW! What George Bush Sr. made famous as ‘The New World Order’ has our empire as the only one needed to assure the ‘safety of humanity’. And I have this great bridge in Brooklyn for sale. Imagine the gall of the movers and shakers of this Military Industrial Empire to keep playing that fear card on a mostly subservient and apathetic populace. It worked during the ‘Red Scare’ 50s and 60s, with a Cold War that was mostly predicated on continuous ‘Fake News’. Eisenhower, through his ‘handlers’ the two Dulles brothers, knew that the Russians were much weaker than us militarily. The Russians knew it as well. Check out the great 1989 Andrew Davis film ‘The Package’ to see how these scams work.
They will lower the flag, the flag that this empire has hijacked from us, on Memorial Day. They will have somber ceremonies to ‘honor the dead , fallen heroes’. What they should always have done is honor those dead US servicemen and women by acknowledging the criminal acts of sending them to those hornets nests overseas to kill and be killed… or maimed for life with lost limbs, eyes, and fatal diseases from Agent Orange and Depleted Uranium. After that is done, to give just a ‘teaspoon of comfort’ to the dead and their families, the war criminals still breathing among us should be tried and convicted for high treason. Let justice be done though the heavens may fall!
Philip A Farruggio is a son and grandson of Brooklyn, NYC longshoremen. He has been a free lance columnist since 2001, with over 300 of his work posted on sites like Global Research, Consortium News, Information Clearing House, Nation of Change, World News Trust, Op Ed News, Dissident Voice, Counterpunch, Activist Post, Sleuth Journal, Truthout and many others. His blog can be read in full on World News Trust, whereupon he writes a great deal on the need to cut military spending drastically and send the savings back to save our cities. Philip has a internet interview show, ‘It’s the Empire… Stupid’ with producer Chuck Gregory, and can be reached at [email protected].