Thursday, June 23, 2011


I love airplanes.  My brother is a private pilot and he's taken me up a few times in the little Cessna he flies.  He's given me the stick, allowed me complete control of the plane, and let me call flight control using that unbelievably awesome jargon pilots use ("Dillingham Tower, this is November Hotel 1-6-5 Foxtrot, turning south at the point towards Kalaeloa." So cool.)

I also love seeing planes overhead.  There's a regional airport near my home that services a number of small private jets, local prop planes, and replica and vintage World War II fighters that usually end up flying low over my house.  I can't help but look up like a 5-year-old kid whenever I hear one pass over.

Today, I was in the waiting room of the plasma center in town (I'm poor, don't judge).  Saving Private Ryan was playing on the flat-screen.  I don't really care for that movie, but it always elicits a reaction of gratitude and humility from me whenever I watch it.  I'm so impressed and thankful for the men and women who have served and are serving our country.  Even though I'm a peace-freak, I understand the love of country and the hatred of oppression that has motivated people to join the armed forces.

Back to the airplanes, in one of the final scenes of the movie, the American soldiers are garrisoned in a small village, trying to fend off the incoming German armies and therefore save lives of other soldiers, or something to that effect.  I haven't seen the entirety in years.  In a traditionally monomythic fashion, the Americans look to be winning, then start getting worked over by the vastly-outnumbering German armies, until they receive assistance literally from above.  Several P-51 Mustangs come flying in and begin using anti-tank artillery to take out the offending enemy.  In a miracle of good timing, the ground troops are saved from their antagonists, just when they needed it most, by people who had a wider perspective and greater capacity than they did.

I like thinking of it like a metaphor.  I'd explain it, but I think it's pretty cut and dry.  What assistance from above have you experienced?

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