21 March 2008

The aroma of AXE wafted from inside the metallic gray four-wheel drive Extra Cab Chevy Silverado pickup as the driver powered down his window. I had crossed the street from the opposite corner of the intersection, where about 90 of us were standing in vigil to observe the fifth anniversary of the onset of ground operations in Iraq. I wanted to engage the owner of the truck and see what he had to say about this sign, posted above the grill of his imposing vehicle.


A bright-eyed red-cheeked young man with a trimmed beard looked questioningly at me. I told him that I liked his sign and he seemed pleased. I asked him what it meant, and he replied conspiratorially and with gusto that it meant just what it said! Because I had sincerely been unable to divine the meaning (nor was I even certain that he was not acting in solidarity with our vigil), I asked, "Well, are you demonstrating with the people across the street, are you against them, or is it some sort of 'third angle,' like an anarchistic - or Performance Art kind of thing?" In reply he began an enthusiastic rant about how he couldn't believe we were going to bring them all home. The fire in his eyes intensified as he went on, "The Muslims are just going to come over here and kill us all!" He told me that he remains in regular contact with his best buddies serving in The Special Forces in Afghanistan and Iraq (it's always Special Forces with these armchair warriors, isn't it?), that they are perfectly OK with the job they're doing, and that even after three tours, they don't want to come back home.

A this point, I introduced myself, he gave me his name, and we shook hands. I exhorted him to write his congressional representatives and he assured me he had been. Just before I could ask him why he was not serving in the military, he informed me with all earnestness that he would have been over there with his buddies himself if his back hadn't blown out on him. I assured him that I already knew that, and that I would pray for his friends overseas. We shook hands again and I returned to the vigil.


I wish I could remember his name. I'd bet that if I "googled" him, I'd find a blog post somewhere recounting his brave stand against the traitors in Memphis, TN.

[PS - In retrospect, perhaps the young man was coining a malapropism of an imperative to "Wage War!" That could explain his failure to see why I needed clarification of his meaning.]

UPDATE from
Mike13833 in comments:
This one seems like old times revisited .
http://tinyurl.com/2ksmw7

My mother was passing through and ended up in the middle of it . As far as she can tell, a verbal exchange between 3 or 4 protestors(out of ~60) and a couple police officers , over the advisability of crossing such a busy road,resulted in the police breaking up the whole thing. Of course chaos ensued. It was complicated by an accident on the other side of the road .
The shoulders are wide , and students have to cross the road, individually , on an everyday basis, so shouldn't have been that much trouble. My mother's opinion was that some were incautious, and the police overreacted. As usual , disorderly conduct charges were filed to justify it .

1 comment:

Mike13833 said...

This one seems like old times revisited .
http://www.binghamtonpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080320/NEWS01/803200351/1001/ARCHIVE

My mother was passing through and ended up in the middle of it . As far as she can tell, a verbal exchange between 3 or 4 protestors(out of ~60) and a couple police officers , over the advisability of crossing such a busy road,resulted in the police breaking up the whole thing. Of course chaos ensued. It was complicated by an accident on the other side of the road .

The shoulders are wide , and students have to cross the road, individually , on an everyday basis, so shouldn't have been that much trouble. My mother's opinion was that some were incautious, and the police overreacted. As usual , disorderly conduct charges were filed to justify it .