Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Gathering of Eagles

Went to DC this past weekend to check out the house that the missus and I will quite possibly occupy in a few years. Nice yard! I think I can keep my wedge play sharp there. I wonder if the gardeners will hold their jobs at my pleasure or if they've got some sort of civil service deal that gives them the right to refuse to fix my divots. Perhaps one of you- my fellow Americans- might have a son or daughter, or a grandchild, that might like to intern for me in 2020. If they feel it would be a great honor to serve their country in this capacity, and they wouldn't think themselves above a little yard work, I'm sure we can work something out. Perhaps a Chick Evans Scholarship can also be arranged.

Someone in uniform (might've been a Park Ranger- I didn't get a good look) was passing out forms to the people waiting for a tour of the White House. I asked where the end of the line was and was curtly informed that you have to go thru your congressman to get on the list. Silly me. I'll bet most of you folks knew about that, huh? Just think what a funny, self-effacing story that will make some day if, as President, I bump into a tour group as I'm heading out to the front yard with a bucket of balls and a Heineken. (I bet the Dutch will love us when that happens!)

Being a Vietnam Era veteran (USAF '72-76) I thought I'd lend a hand, if needed, to tackle any anti-war type confused enough to think the first amendment gave them a right to deface the Wall, as I'd heard some had threatened to do. Being a Vietnam Era veteran, and unaccustomed to actual physical confrontation, I brought along a friend (Marines '69-72) and one of my sons (Army Reserves- 2 tours in Iraq). As it turns out, when some thousands of veterans actually show up, the park service puts up metal detectors and airport-level security to make our being there unnecessary. Does anyone besides me think that if only a handful of us had shown up, the security would have been more on the level of a public library? I'd like to know that the primary concern was the protection of the national war memorials from the vandals and not saving sorry asses from reaping the consequences of their foolishness. One does wonder.

A few observations:

I won't say our crowd wasn't a somewhat motley crew, but looking into the faces of the vets you saw a seriousness of purpose and a deep sense of honor that has got to be one of our greatest national resources. These guys could have and would have moved a mountain that day, if a mountain needed moving.

If I knew a poet, I'd pay him a hundred dollars to put into words just how wonderful the feelings are at seeing a black veteran wearing unit insignia and saluting the flag with fierce pride and love of country. I guess that makes me a racist.

Most encouraging sight of the day- seeing a busload of middle schoolers hit the street with signs of support for the troops and for Pres. Bush.

I don't mean to belittle the Vietnam Memorial (the Wall) but honestly, its not near as cool as the Korean Memorial. (Look up pictures and you'll see what I mean.) I also found the Lincoln Memorial quite inspirational and I look forward to seeing "Forrest Gump" again.

I was interviewed and made a statement I regret. I was asked about the anti-war crowd and said that I have no problem with 99% of them who are only exercising their 1st amendment rights. I said that because I had calculated that maybe 1% were anarchists who came hoping to pelt a cop or deface property. So I had that 99/1% thing in mind when asked the question. After the interview, and after observing the anti-war crowd, I think I can only muster respect for 10-20% of them. The rest are a sorry lot of sad people, a mixture of true believers (commies) who think they want to see the gov't overthrown by revolution in the streets; juveniles (young & old) who want a personal connection to Janis, Jimmy, Woodstock, Haight-Ashbury, and the Chicago 7; and those of my fellow Christians desperately & pathologically seeking personal moral superiority. Folks, this is not a movement to be taken seriously, except to the extent the media and the left amplify it.

Far more enjoyable than watching protesters and counter-protesters in brutal, butt-kicking cold and wind, was being in an Irish pub a few blocks from the Whitehouse, washing down clam linguini with Jamison's & Foggy Bottom Ale while convincing an anti-war type from Calif to root for the Buckeyes over Xavier.

God bless America!

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