Every Monday I determine I'm going to write this blog. And then somehow time goes by too fast and the day is over and it doesn't seem as important on Tuesday. But tonight, obviously, I blog.
So, as you probably know by reading my other blog about wearing my pink puffy coat to the Pentagon, that I work at the Pentagon. Not only do I work there, but I am a proud member of the U.S. Military's finest branch, the U.S. Air Force.
What you may not know (but are about to) is that every Monday there are protestors lined up outside the Pentagon to greet us as we come out of the metro. Usually there's just a handful, 6 or 7. I think its pretty much the same people every week, or if not, at least the same kind of slogans on their signs.
"War is Sin" "Stop killing people" "Bush is the Devil" "Get out of Iraq"
You know, the type of things my brothers and some relatives post or send around in e-mail. :-)
Oh, most of the time there's this guy in a monk-like robe, even when it's cold, and he's beating on this little drum and chanting. Not sure what he's chanting, but it's probably something about peace or how he likes my pink puffy coat.
I think he's my favorite protestor because he gives me a beat to walk into work with. He's the one I miss the most on Tuesdays, especially those weeks where Monday is a holiday and our first day is Tuesday. The protestors are only there on Mondays.
Today was an unusually large crowd because Sunday marked the 3rd anniversary of the war in Iraq. It's actually pretty cool, because they notified us on Friday they were blocking off part of the parking lot so the protestors could gather there. With all the power the people in the Pentagon can bring to bear anywhere in the world, they'll set aside some space for people who want to exercise their right to protest.
They bring in extra security on mornings like this. Today it seemed the Pentagon Police outnumbered the protestors. It made me feel kindof like a rock star walking through this crowd of armed guards.
Last time there was a larger crowd was when the World Trade Organization meeting was going on and a couple hundred people stuck around in DC to come protest at the Pentagon. Somebody threw something on the people walking by, I think it was eggs or red paint or something. They had sprayed it off the sidewalk before I walked by.
Today, they were prepared and the walk was protected by large, clear plastic tarps, so we were safe from any thrown objects.
I write about it because it's a very unique experience. I wonder how these people would feel if I came to their workplace every Monday with a sign telling them I disagreed with them. Well, it might not bother them too much because they'd probably be at the Pentagon protesting what I do. But, maybe they'd be as happy to see me there as I am to see them.
It's a beautiful thing, this democracy. We go in that building and do what we do every day so our warriors overseas can do what they do so those people can stand outside our building and do what they do every Monday.
Ok, so every once in a while I wish someone would go out there with a sign that said something like "We support the troops" or "Thank you for our freedom." Maybe when I get out of the AF, I'll bring those signs and maybe a guitar so I could strum along with my drummer guy.
BUT... until then, I march on.