a study of contrasts

I’m taking a brief break from our trip through Rome to bring you a rant.  Or maybe we could call it a musing.

I went to a hockey game last night, and as we were exiting the stadium a bunch of protestors were already crowding the street we were supposed to be crowding.  There were only a handful of them, but they made their presence known by shouting and beating an annoying drum.  They seemed to be the same group that has been camping out in front of our Capitol building.  An unbathed motley crew, seemingly protesting everything from the war to Wall Street to normal heterosexual behavior and anything else that struck their fancy.

There were two stark contrasts.  The most apparent one was right in front of my eyes– a group of young business men had exited the hockey game and were standing on the corner, watching the protestors with skeptical, bemused looks.  They were about the same age as the protestors, but they were clean-shaven, had bathed that day, clad in nice suits, and apparently had day jobs.  I thought, “Hm, which group is more attractive?”   Maybe unwashed hippies appeal to someone, I suppose.  But I think I’ll take the guys who are apparently employed and have a sense of hygiene.

The second contrast is not so shallow.  During one of the breaks in the game, they announced that we had a retired Army sergeant in our midst.  He had served in Iraq and possibly Afghanistan.  It was hard to hear everything they said about him, because immediately upon showing him on the jumbotron, as he sat there in his wheelchair, the entire arena stood up and gave him a loud, long, rousing standing ovation.  Can you imagine getting a standing ovation from 15,000+ people?  I’m sure we all wished we could have done more for the man who had served our country and protected our freedom.

I wonder what he thought when he came out and saw the people protesting the war.  How little they understand the horrors of war.  How narrow-minded they are.  He sacrificed his life for our country, knowing that the purpose of war is peace (St. Augustine).  I suppose we all wish peace could be achieved by standing in the streets and waving rainbow flags and beating annoying drums.  But it can’t.

God bless that man and all those willing to risk their lives for our freedom — so that we can camp out in parks and not shower or work.

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3 thoughts on “a study of contrasts

  1. Mom says:

    Those of us of my age group remember when this happened in the 70s….the unwashed hippies and the returning soldiers. And the media giving the unwashed hippies way too much press and not giving the veterans enough. At least today we do show our appreciation to those guys and gals who put their lives in harm’s way for our freedom. Sad fact though, is that the unwashed hippies of the 70s are running the country now.

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