Monday, July 30, 2007
A$$holes in SUVs
Last Wednesday, while riding my bike on Snow King Avenue, I was passed by a rather large pickup truck, the driver of which thought it necessary to scream at me through the window as he passed dangerously close. "Why don't you grow up and buy a car!" Ashamedly, I returned him the requisite finger gesture and then forgot the encounter until later.
That was June 6th, a date that has always been very special to me. Sixty-three years ago, on that day, my grandfather was running along the beach in Normandy on D-Day. Each year on June 6th I call my grandfather and never say a word about the war or D-Day, but it’s a day when I’m sure we both think about our country and what it means to be at war. I understand
that was a different era and a different war, but it struck me as strange that this particular truck driver had a giant American flag and "Support our Troops" sticker on his tailgate. In a war dependent on our unquestionable need for oil, it seems ironic that self-proclaimed patriots in gas guzzling monster trucks think it “childish” or stupid that I might want to ride a bike instead of driving a car.
During WWII, it would have been unthinkable to throw out a can or a piece of rubber that was usable in the war effort. Entire communities walked to work to save fuel, women filled factories to take over production while their male counterparts went off to war. In 1941
General Motors, who at the time controlled 45% of car sales in America, completely retooled its manufacturing to produce everything from airplanes to guns.
Yet now, with our country at war, it seems people don't sacrifice anything for the good of the war effort. In fact, I’d bet most people never give it a thought during the day. Yes, it's true that me riding my bike may never bring one soldier home, but it's my symbolic gesture. I believe that if you really support the troops, then perhaps a little sacrifice in your personal life is more patriotic than a $3 sticker on your tailgate.