Did you know this year is the 50th anniversary of the interstate highway system, aka the “Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways?” Of course you did. (Not everyone is impressed. We need a “new vision.”) I won’t comment upon or mention the usual clichés about the interstates (the destructor of small towns, the homogenization of the culture, the long boring expanses of nothing much to see), besides, I already have. Instead, just consider what an engineering marvel the interstates are. No other nation of comparable size —I’m looking at you, Russia, China, India— has anything to compare, unless it would be a railroad. Yes,
action scenery, history, and charm of
Further, random, thoughts on Sgt. Kassin’s memorial service… Did you take a close look at the PGR pictures (more pics below) from yesterday? The group is mostly older guys and gals, with a few exceptions, of course. And most of those “older guys” are
And also in the “just sayin’” department: I’m beginning to think I’m a walking anachronism. Yesterday I trotted out one of two suits I kept when I left the working world (weddings and funerals, ya know), unwrapped a dress shirt, picked out a tie, shined up my Johnston & Murphy’s, and made myself presentable for the occasion. I needn’t have bothered. Aside from Sgt. Kassin’s father and the two ministers I was the only male in a suit yesterday (out of about 200+ men), if you discount the one Air Force couple who came in their Class A uniforms. And I’ll also add that only about ten percent of the men added a tie to their (ahem) formal attire. Jeans ruled the day, and yes, there were more than a few tee shirts, too. I find this sad and troubling. There’s a lot to be said for formality that used to accompany our rituals. It’s vanishing, and that is not a good thing. And there’s the Old Fart commentary for the day.
The Army was conspicuously absent from yesterday’s memorial service. I think I know the reason; yesterday was a memorial service for the family, the actual burial takes place in
And finally, I didn’t describe the military honors given to Sgt. Kassin and his family yesterday by the Cannon AFB Honor Guard. If there was a single point in time where I came close to “losing it,” it was during the presentation of the flag to Sgt. Kassin’s parents by the commander of the Honor Guard. I’ve seen this particular ritual many times. It changes only depending on the venue, that is, if the ceremony is performed grave-side, or indoors. The presentation of the flag is symbolic of the nation’s gratitude for the service and sacrifice of the service member and the family. It is a solemn moment, and if that doesn’t strain your emotions, I don’t know what would…
(Just a note: Blogger is slow today. It took 45 minutes to upload the three pics below. I keep telling myself: “but it’s free.” Free, yes. And abysmally slow at times, too.)