Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Theme of the Day

I had my 9/11 moment earlier this week (though the flags flying everywhere definitely do pull at my heart this day):

Driving back on 395, a long, busy weekend. Finally almost home at 10PM (after leaving at 4AM on Friday), wearing my Army uniform and ready to see my parents and head to bed.

But as I cleared the turn that brought me right past the Pentagon from the HOV lanes all of that popped from my head.

Yes, it struck me... to see that flag there, in the foreground (not seen here) the lights representing those who lost their lives that day. In my hometown –Arlington, VA.

9/11 is and always will be personal to me. While I was immensely lucky to not lose anyone in the events of that awful morning, everything about it strikes a chord with me and my life:

  • The poor, brave souls on UAL Flight 93. As someone who has flown so often in my life, I have little trouble imagining the terror and confusion on the plane that morning. People just like me that were traveling for business or pleasure and expected the greatest inconvenience to be dealing with the cramped seats, bad food and delays of air travel, but instead faced a horrible situation where the passengers rose to the challenge to protect their country.
  • The civil servants, military personnel and contractors working in the bowels of the Pentagon to keep this country safe. Having been a contractor, serving as a National Guardsman and also being a civil servant, these were my people. My coworkers (in the grander scheme), comrades and peers who lost their lives in an unprecedented attack.
  • And of course the lives lost in the WTC. I have lived in NYC, worked in the high-rises and consider it my second favorite US city. My family works there, my brother lives there.. Really, nothing can compare to the horror, terror and anger I felt at this violation and senseless loss of life that these attacks resulted in.

So, yes I slowed (not safe I know but I did look and there was no traffic at all behind me), I felt myself finger the flag that sits on my right shoulder of my ACU's and tossed off a short salute as I drove past. 9/11 was one of the impetuous for me to join the Guard and driving past in uniform like that was fulfilling a promise of mine to not feel as helpless as I did 7 years ago.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Juliana Hatfield rocked!

(or is "pop-ed"? She seemed confused as to whether she was pop or rock) All I know is that I really enjoyed her show.

A confluence of events led me to seeing her concert last night, an random click-around on Facebook that brought me to her fan page, the fact that the show was at Iota (a scant 15 minute walk from my place) and a date that ran short (nice girl, just not enough in common to make me think much of anything will happen. biggest hint to myself that I wasn't interested was that we were wrapping up and I glanced at my phone and thought, "cool! I can still make Juliana's show")..

Interesting note, I was standing next to some guys and this one was saying that he remembered that he had seen her a decade ago in southern VA, the other one then said that it was probably at Virginia Tech, probably in 1993. This caused me to pop in that I could definitely place it in 1995, since that was when I first saw her perform. This is funny because the 3 of us (and I have no idea who these guys were) were probably 10% of the audience at that show... It is a small world...

Man can she sing and play that guitar! I love her lyrics, they definitely are deeper than most. And at 41? Couldn't guess that, she is hot!

A well spent $15!

Monday, September 08, 2008

With great power comes great responsibility

So my Company (military unit, not commercial entity) has a new commander. With that came the discussion of having the Company sound off with a slogan when the come to attention.

Me, being the smart-ass that I am, promptly suggested (purely in jest, I swear) that we should go with "Can you hear me now?" We are a Signal (radio and computers to you non-military types) Company so that brought a few chuckles and then we moved on to other items of discussion.

That was until a couple of hours later when I was heading to the drill floor to see final formation and lo, what do I hear my platoon sergeant telling my Soldiers to sound off with? Yep, you guessed it, "Can you hear me now!"

Yes, I cringed.. and was still cringing the next few times that it happened. Hopefully (and it looks like it has some buy-in) we will be moving on to my next suggestion, "Signal Strong!", by the next drill.