I was pleased, I was enthralled, I was thrilled, – - – and then – – – I was AGHAST!!
We the People, today’s patriots who came from the “tea party” movement of 2009, have been finding, writing and speaking about the creeping loss of our freedoms: the Patriot Act, REAL ID, NDAA and even Presidential Orders regarding new restrictions being placed on the law-abiding American citizen regarding freedom of movement and speech in our country.
As many gathered on the St. Petersburg waterfront to participate in the rally for Presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, it was a lovely day – the worst rain storm in 20,000 years was predicted, and as usual, it never materialized.
From where we were, we could see the crowd grow – the line (starting at Spa Beach) to get in to the event was halfway back to the Vinoy.
We had some 40 or so volunteers in and out of the sign waving activity at the corner of Bayshore Drive and 2nd St NE, the pier entrance. Some went on into the event and were replaced by others, and some stayed through from 3:30 until the “end”.
Lots of good interplay within our sign waving group, and also with those walking from “downtown”, through us out to the event. I was so pleased to see parents with their children of all ages – one might have been 2 weeks and sound asleep.
Very few hecklers either from cars going by or from people in general or with signs.
After almost three hours of harassing the traffic cops assigned to block off the pier road, the word finally came – one of the cops pointed to the flashing lights down by Al Lang Field.
GAME ON!!! Enthrallment!!
Some blackened window SUV’s first. Then open windowed SUV’s that we perceived to be Secret Service. Then the MAN himself (THRILL) standing in the “well” of the closed door to the bus with Anne standing at the head of the stairs.
Then came something that made me truly gasp!!!
As little boys, there are few pleasures and thrills like a completed “Hail Mary” to end the football game in the last seconds; the NASCAR or Indy car coming from #2 to win at the last minute by a squeak at the finish line; and playing with toy metal or plastic soldiers.
For those who served, there are unbelievable highs when we first fire live ammunition; and when we stand on the curb and watch Old Glory at the head of a military parade in celebration of our heritage; and unbelievable lows to watch a military procession for a fallen hero.
All of those feelings came to me all at once that afternoon when I saw with my own eyes.
Men in black military style uniforms driving by us peace and freedom loving individuals with windows open and what would have been commonly acknowledged as M-16 rifles, presumably fully loaded with live ammunition, being very visible and held AT THE READY!!!!!
You’ve all seen the Toyota pickup trucks used by “insurgents” all over the Middle East for years, now. Put that very same image on the streets of St. Petersburg, FL and see how you feel.
That was my AGHAST moment.
Right here within our borders and in our own country and on the very streets we use in our daily lives are people now on a government payroll who are carrying military grade weapons – which could be used at any moment to cut down – WITHOUT WARNING – the people standing peacefully on the roadside.
That scenario is EXACTLY what you all have been writing against for MONTHS!!
I was AGHAST once my shock subsided!!!!!
Where do you stand????
Do you accept such behavior from our elected officials?? Are you content, on the basis of “public safety” and the need to protect our Presidential candidates, to watch yet another freedom dissipate before your eyes??
In this now constant tug of war between the perceived need by our “rulers” to maintain public safety, and the founding principle that America would be a place where citizens are free to roam at will, I am once again reminded of the sonnet commonly credited to Martin Niemoller and titled “First they came” in which the last line is: ”Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up.”
20 Million Russians, 6 Million Jews, 70 Million Chinese – all peaceable humans now gone!
Our ONLY hope for the future of possibly all man-kind is to work ever harder to find, support and elect representatives at all levels of government who are more faithful to our independent and freedom loving heritage, our Judeo-Christian culture and the US Constitution, and less self-absorbed in the egotistical ability to tell, nay, force with military weaponry, other people how to live!!!!