I am disappointed that M was marching in Obama's parade today, but I am thrilled that he was marching in the President's parade. In true West Point tradition, the cadets were thoroughly drilled and practiced, sub-freezing temperatures and any other problems be hanged, so I pretty much gave the activities of my day over to tv-watching, hoping to catch a glimpse of the Corps of Cadets. It was a colossal waste of a day. Well, except for collecting some fodder for this blog. ;-)
After slogging through endless pre-inaugural and inaugural and post-inaugural hoopla, we were more than ready for the parade, which, "due to circumstances beyond our control," was an hour and a half late in starting. We did not know that the West Point Corps of Cadets would be at the very front of the parade, though we knew they would be close to the front, and we mistakenly perceived this as an advantage. We could not have been wrong-er.
Obama's arrival was "fashionably late," while the parade outside languished in the freezing weather. By the time it actually started, a goodly portion of the parade goers had simply given up and gone home, and rumor has it that some of the participants in the parade were suffering from hypothermia by then. All this while Obama, the man of the people, took his leisure getting settled into his front-row seat in his climate-controlled reviewing stand.
Well, ok, we ourselves can't really complain. Other than the wasted time, we were comfortable enough in front of our tv set in our own living room, ready for "America's parade," as it was described by the press. America's Parade? Cool! Bring it on!
Due to Obama's lateness in arriving in the reviewing stand, the parade had already begun to file past when he got there, and he completely missed the first set of flags that went by. We were able to catch a glimpse of the very tips of the flag poles looking over Obama's shoulder through the window, and then the camera showed a head-on shot of the approaching Army band followed by West Point. We were all set for a good parade.
Only a funny thing happened on the way to America's Parade. Instead of showing us the parade, we were shown one shot after another of Obama watching the parade. Or, more accurately, of Obama not watching the parade. The new Commander-in-Chief was far too busy glad-handing the people around him to be able to review his troops passing before him, with the first military unit not to get his attention being none other than the Corps of Cadets of West Point, traditionally the very first unit to march under arms for a new president.
The press did treat us to one very short glimpse of the cadets, mistakenly announced as "The United States Military." M had told us where he would be standing, so we knew where to look: second from the right, as they marched forward, with Obama not reviewing them on the left. Hmmm...M on the right, Obama on the left...Yes, that would be right...or "accurate," I guess I should say ;-) Well, it was good that we knew where to find him, because all we got was a nanosecond of a look before we were back watching Obama (not) watching.
And that was the parade. I hope that it isn't an omen of things to come to the military from the hand of their new Commander-in-Chief. Now we can only pray.
And so, good, bad, or ugly, I'm off to remove the "NObama" sticker from the back of my van...
The Time Of His Life
5 years ago