Battleland

The Ultimate Half-Full — Or Half-Empty — Glass

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The Navy's Blue Angels flying over -- barely -- San Francisco / Navy photo by Paul Sato

Rich Hill is a San Francisco teacher who last week penned a column in the San Francisco Chronicle griping about the annual Blue Angels’ air show over his fair city:

I have strong feelings about the Blue Angels’ annual visit. I do not like it…The Boeing F/A-18 Hornet is a fierce fighter and agile attacker…Are we so distant from the wars waged that we can just sit back and enjoy the beauty of the Angels’ acrobatics without pondering the symbolism behind the show? If the F/A-18 is not the emblem of war and violence, then what is?…During last year’s Fleet Week…one eighth-grade girl softly said, “I don’t get it. Why are they here?”

This week, the Chronicle gave voice to Scott Kartvedt, a former Blue Angel pilot, who wrote:

I hope when your eighth-grade student asked last year, “I don’t get it, why are they here?” I hope you responded something to the effect of, “those men and women represent the 2.8 million members of our armed forces who protect and defend the Constitution of our United States against all enemies foreign and domestic and they have pledged their allegiance to the same. They are here to remind us of the pride of our United States of America, they symbolically represent those who have served, those currently serving and those who will serve.”

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