Real Mistakes, Real Laughs:

Air bases were built on captured islands of Tinian, Saipan, and Guam but they were barley within the range of the long-range bombers.

(hope the bombadiers weren't on gluten-free diets)

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Errands and Airplanes

I heard it late this morning:  that faraway, unmistakable roar of Navy FA-18 jet engines.  Ah, the Boys of Summer are back.

Every year about this time I'm reminded why I love this town.  It's Commissioning Week at the Naval Academy and the Blue Angels kick off their annual summer performance tour with an air show over the Severn River of Annapolis on Wednesday and a formation flyby at the graduation ceremony on Friday morning.  Nothing could be cooler than driving to Sam's Club while four Navy fighter jets screech overhead in a diamond formation. 

It's pretty hard not to get caught up in the excitement of Commissioning Week, even if you're not connected to the Navy.  Maryland's capital city is rightly proud of the Naval Academy and the newly minted officers whose four-year development since that first, eye-opening plebe year is witnessed by an entire community.  The midshipmen are Annapolis' kids, regardless of their hometowns.  So we don't mind when our town is inundated with so many visiting families that walking up Main Street becomes a dodge-and-weave exercise.  And it's okay if we have to sit in the car an extra five minutes to wait for the pedestrian crosswalk to clear at Market Space; it gives us a chance to smile at the bridal couple on the deck of the yacht chartered for the reception, all aglow in white satin and dress white uniform (or dress blue uniform, if the groom is in the Marine Corps). 

We indulge all the inconveniences of living in a tourist spot because it represents something important:  intelligent, talented young men and women who shine as brightly as the polished buttons on their chokers (dress uniforms).  After they are commissioned as ensigns and second lieutenants, the class of 2010 will go their separate ways to serve our country.  Some will go to war and not come back.  But for this week, the harsher realities of military life are put aside as they celebrate what they've accomplished in the past four years. 

And believe me, they accomplish a lot.

Cynthia Polansky "Expect the Unexpected" http://www.cynthiapolansky.com/ http://www.cynthiapgallagher.com/

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