Friday, June 17, 2005
"Ivan, Did you see the sunrise?"
Magnum PI is still one of my favorite TV shows of all time. It was the first that was depicting Vietnam Vets not as deranged lunatics, but as normal people just coping with their experiences they endured. It had great plots, complex characters and in the view of many, it never really "jumped the shark" so to speak, which refers to a point which the show has noticable gone downhill.
The character of Thomas Magnum was a good person, although not perfect. He made mistakes and occasionally gave it to emotions.
This episode "Did you see the sunrise" was one of the best ones. It dealt with their experiences in a North Vietnamese POW camp, and how a Soviet KGB agent at the camp, came to Hawaii ten years later for reasons they are not sure of, but they do know he is trying to kill them, they think.
At the end, "Ivan" does not accomplish his mission, and the State Department does not want to cause a diplomatic incident and decides to let him go. Magnum does not quite agree with that, and arranges to have a personal meeting with him in the end. Ivan tell Magnum, how he knows that Magnum would never kill an unarmed person, and how Thomas believes in "fair play", somewhat deriding him for it. Ivan then starts to walk away.
Magnum then asks "Ivan, did you see the sunrise?" Ivan answers, and then you see Magnums response.
The sunrise reference is from in this episode where Magnums friend "Mac" suggests after a night out, to go see the sunrise, and upon getting into Magnums car to drive it, gets killed by an explosion, presumably part of Ivans operation.
Sunday, June 05, 2005
What is Memorial Day?
Its unfortunate, that for so many when they hear of Memorial Day, all they can think of is drinking and partying, without any remembrance of what it is about. For all too many, its just a weekend of intoxication, which is fine, but there is a much deeper meaning to me to Memorial Day.
So many veterans have served, and all too many have made the ultimate sacrifice, in conflicts from the Revolutionary War, to present day action in Iraq. On Memorial Day, I drove down the hill to the nearby Angel Fire Vietnam Veterans Memorial that is cloose to my house. There were many veterans there and some currently serving. You really cant help but get a lump in your throat at times, at the ceremonies and seeing some of the exhibits inside. Some Army helicopters were there, Governor Bill Richardson, and the New Mexico Air National Guard (Tacos) pair of F-16s did a flyover.
The man who came up with the Memorial here, lost a son in Vietnam and decided to build this in remembrance of him. It turned into a place of emotional healing for many veterans who visit, or those who have lost loved ones in war. Many veterans looked up to Dr Westphall as a father figured and loved him. Unfortunately, he died in late 2003, and his wife died in 2004. But the memorial serves as a lasting reminder of the sacrifices those have made, and the pain that was felt when they were lost.
River River Rally
I worked in Red River, NM, at the Mother Lode Saloon, on Friday Saturday and Sunday before Memorial day. It was pretty insane, with all of the people there from all over the country, and some from around the world too.
My job was security, so either I checked ID to make sure no one was underage, or walked around inside and outside, to make sure there were no problems. Other than the really long hours of doing 12 hour shifts, it was not too bad. The bikers were actually well behaved considering the large amounts of alcohol, and the large number of people there.
One thing I did notice however was that many of these bikers are very patriotic, and take veterans issues seriously. Many of them had patches on their jackets denoting military service, and I tried to thank each one of them I saw for their service. One of the musicians playing at the Saloon played Star Spangled Banner on the guitar, and did a great job, getting a big reaction. I would love to see one of those America-hating flag burning idiots, whether domestic or foreign, try that crap at a biker rally. The results would probably be a bit painful for the misguided arsonist.