Saturday, November 27, 2010

Hail To The Chief

 (Air Force One approaches, over the air control tower from WW2)
This past week, Grissom Air Reserve Base, (where my DH is in charge of the Public Affairs office) hosted the President of the United States. Yes, this is a late post because, as all military wives know, there are things that you talk about AFTER the fact. Preparation for a presidential visit is considerable; multiple agencies that have their own protocols that must be met, local security issues, coordinating all these facets into one smooth, safe, look-so-easy maneuver. I kid you not---it is NOT easy!
I must admit being privy to some of the behind the scenes prep gives me greater respect for the amount of practice work that is involved in each and every visit. And that is all I can say!  ;-)
Despite the fact that I try and keep the blog pretty nonpolitical (due to DH's job) this is one of those once in a lifetime events, and I had to record it here. All photos are courtesy of the U.S. Air Force Reserve, taken by TSgt. Mark Orders-Woempner. If you wish to read about the visit from the Grissom web page, click HERE.

Air Force Two, taxiing after landing.
 
Ladies and gentlemen, the President of the United States!

 The official welcome on the ground.

The joyful unofficial welcomes; smiles and hugs....

....Presidential autographs for those waiting patiently in the frigid wind....

.....the genuine *grip and grins* as we refer to them, happy people, soldiers meeting their 
Commander In Chief....

 .....And finally after visits in the local community, a fond farewell wave from the steps of the most famous aircraft in America.

And now, why I took the time to post this. When I was in grade school at St. Patrick's in Kokomo, Indiana, Bobby Kennedy made a campaign trip through town. We were allowed to go out onto the playground and children and nuns lined the fence, waving to him. He was riding in a convertible, nominal escort, waving, smiling, young....and then heading off, not knowing he would meet his sad fate. The impression of his smile is burned upon my mind.
At that time, although there were partisan shenanigans, at heart, we were all AMERICANS FIRST. Those who served in Washington had been through the draft and wars together, and at the end of the day, there was a willingness to get things hammered out for the benefit of the people. The common bond on both sides of the aisle was their service to this country while wearing a uniform, and most of them in combat.
My father, a Democrat, fought in WW2 along side Republicans, Socialists, some that probably had no particular allegiance  to any party, but they were a band of brothers. They were AMERICANS. They fought for the freedom of others at the cost of their own blood being spilled, in hopes that countries under dictatorial rule would have the opportunity to live in freedom. The soldier never questioned the political leanings of the man next to them---it was strictly being an American or an Ally. That was all.
We now live in a country where partisanship is running rampant at the expense of those least able to pay and I ask myself repeatedly, if a Roman Catholic and a Southern Baptist can marry and live together and work things out for 25 years, WHY WON'T AMERICANS? When did hate become the flavor du jour? When did utter intolerance for the progresses gained by hard fought battles become the norm?
The making or breaking of this great nation is basically in each of our hands.
Can we bend a little? Are we the *Good Samaritans* we like to portray ourselves as? Are we willing to do the right thing for all even if it requires a bit of sacrifice on our part? Have we allowed 24 hour *news* (and I use that term loosely) to dull our ability to think, to debate, to search for the truth and intelligence in decisions? Did our fathers and fore-fathers fight for nothing?
I hope, as this Holiday season begins, that we may invite two Spirits into our homes; Tolerance and Compassion.
May they be welcomed heartily, and may they stay to temper our moments of pique. May they bring wisdom to us all, and bridge the rift that is pulling one countryman against the other. Let us never endure nor allow another uncivil war. 
At the end of the day, we are nothing but finite creatures of flesh and blood. Fame fades, power is lost, money means little when compared to health, love and the knowledge that our decisions have been derived from fact and not fiction.
I would pray that we can lay our verbal and partisan weapons on the ground and walk away.......at least through the coming weeks.
Who knows? There might be a Christmas miracle of a different type, besides the one we honor annually.
May it be so.

Pax....

24 comments:

Robin said...

What a wonderful post Anne!! Thank you for sharing!

Bunny said...

Love those photos and love the happy faces meeting the President. He is a great man in my books and I wish for both parties to work together to make this world a better place for all. It is so sad to hear the backlash and hateful expressions that goes on. Just my humble opinion. Barbara Walters had a great interview last night with the First Lady and the President. Love it.

Janet Ghio said...

Well said Anne!!!

audrey said...

These things need to be said over and over all through the land. This is a wonderful post, Anne. I hope it gets read by many and talked about, too. We need to open our eyes and look out for each other instead of the constant bickering and bashing that has been going on for too long.
Very well written and I thank you for posting this important message.
♥ audrey

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Thanks all for the support on this post.
I had debated just leaving it at the photos of the Presidential Visit, but everything that makes me ME said, finish it, no matter what.
I have no desire to stir the pot, as there are people with little ability that are paid well to do that.
But sometimes, you just have to say what is in your heart.
And all I wish is for a more tolerant country......and I think there are others on both sides who feel the same, but won't say it.

XXOO~~♥
Anne

yoborobo said...

Amen, amen and amen. I can't add a single thing, or say it better. I think we all need to say this over and over. Good on 'ya. xox!

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Thanks Pam.

I really questioned the post due to DH's job; generally I remain silent as a nonendorsement policy is part of the military.
I don't know~~maybe sometimes you just have to SAY something and hope you said it well. ;)

XXOO~~♥
Anne

Christine's Beadworks said...

You said this so much better than I ever could myself. I for one did not find this political, nor an endorsement for either party, but a simple request to remember what it really means to be an American. There's a famous quote (Man's inhumanity to man, makes countless thousands mourn), and it is so very true today as we forget the people affected by all the hate being thrown about.

On a lighter note, I lived a short half block from St. Patrick's and often played in their playground. I visited Grissom many times to see my brother when he was stationed there.

Excellent post Anne,
hugs,
Christine

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Thank you Christine. Your quote is so true in this current climate.
I knew you had lived in Kokomo, but had no idea you were that close to St. Pats! And they did have a pretty good playground in the day, tho not like the huge structures kids have now!
I remember when Grissom was still Bunker Hill AFB, after being closed as Bunker Hill Naval Air Station.
ACK! I'm dating myself big time!!!
;D

XXOO~~♥
Anne

Gloria said...

Great post, great pictures, and Amen to everything you said. Have a great week.

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Thanks Gloria!
I am delighted I was able to use the staff photos for the blog---had to wait until they were used on the official homepage, but well worth the wait! ;)
Have a good, productive, art-filled week!

XXOO~~♥
Anne

Mary Helen-Art Saves Lives said...

You have covered it all...what a wonderful experience and we all need to pray for our leaders to make the best choices to remain an authentic America. Happy Thanksgiving! Imagine and Live in peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hi Mary Helen,

Yes, I think if there was a little less yelling and a little more contemplative time spent among all, focusing on the good and right decisions, we would be a happier nation and a more content people. Prayer is the great equalizer.
Thanks for your comment.

XXOO~~♥
Anne

Manon Doyle said...

What a great post, Anne! I loved the pictures. I will say one political thing and hope I don't get in trouble from any of my friends......and besides I'm in Canada right now so no one can hit me over the head...lol
This past Fall in the community I was living in Ohio they were going have the schools listen to the Presidential address. Many parents were up in arms about the whole thing and tried to get that stopped by the school district. WHAT? Have we become a nation that won't let our kids listen to the President. Isn't America a land of the free where everyone has a right to their own opinions but we support whomever is leading the country. It's really sad when you think of it. I could go on but I won't.

Anyway... your pics are crystal clear and wonderful!!
xoxo

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hey Manon,

Is that not bizarre? That in a country of free speech anyone would oppose their children listening to a Presidential address? I think beneath all of it is a a nasty little secret.
It is sad how a handful of people who yell loud enough always end up getting their way.....it is not much different in Indiana; I would guess the same would have happened here too. (Shakes head)
Ah, the photos are thanks to my Hubby's Office!

XXOO~~♥
Anne

Linda Moran said...

Fabulous post and loved the pictures. What you said is SO important, and it needs to be spread around. The intolerance in this country is astounding. I walked for Bobby Kennedy in 1968 when he was campaigning in New York - a few short months away. I would LOVE to see Obama up close and personal! Lucky you!!

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Thanks Linda,

Sadly, the people on both sides that need the message the most would neither read it nor comment. That is how divided things have become, and I believe it was Lincoln who said "A house divided against itself cannot stand..."
Sometimes I wonder how people can throw logic to the wind and replace it with just exactly what they wish to hear...nothing more.

XXOO~~♥
Anne

Robbie said...

Bravo!!

Sophia said...

What a great post, Anne. I love the ability you have to share your thoughts/perspectives on everything. Alot of good points you have here. Thank you!! :)

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hey girls, thanks and glad you stopped by!
I've been cutting the computer off early in the evenings and trying to keep myself rested (and catch up on knitting!)
Delighted you enjoyed the post! Truly!

XXOO~~♥
Anne

Amalia K said...

Hey, did you know that Mr. Obama went to elementary school in Jakarta? Gosh, I think they have a statue of him somewhere near there...

Well, it's nice to see all those smiling faces, Anne. It's always amazing to see how people could look at their leader with so much warmth.

(^)^) oxx

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hey Amalia,

I knew he had schooling outside the U.S.--did not know for sure where. I think it helps to round a person out for public duty--living outside the States and knowing more than our *own back yard*.
And yes, people here were very happy to greet him, and I was wondering due to the general voting tendencies of Indiana.....

XXOO~~♥
Anne

freebird said...

Amen, amen, amen!

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

:-)

Grazie!

XXOO~~♥
Anne

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