Sunday, February 21, 2010

I Cried All Over Again

It's thirty years tomorrow that the United States Olympic Hockey Team did the impossible, beating the vaunted Soviet team to advance to the Gold Medal game. As fate would have it, the Olympics are ongoing right now, and NBC did a tribute to that fateful time with some of the participants on hand to comment. I remember standing on my feet at the moment Al Michaels uttered the words, "Do you believe in miracles?", and I remember the tears of pride streaming down my face.

I was a very young man, married less than two years at the time, and while I was always fiercely devoted to America, I never considered myself a political animal back then. My, how that moment changed everything. I was standing in my first apartment as a husband, my wife reading or cleaning in one of the bedrooms. I still remember shouting and trembling near the end of that game, and I remember her embracing me from behind, asking if I was alright. Just the recollection of that one moment still swells my breast almost to the bursting point.

Jimmy Carter was still president, and it was probably his last bright moment in office. I can't say for certain if I recognized at that moment that his was a failure of a presidency, but I do remember the mood that swept the nation from that day forward. I remember the advent of Charlie Daniel's new song, "In America". I remember the mood of the people, previously moribund and defeatist, suddenly swinging into a new wave of unbridled patriotism. I remember union construction workers who were fiercely pro-American, waving flags and baldly challenging "pinkos", who now seem to comprise those very same ranks.

Watching tonight, I was transported back to my younger days, my ideological genesis, and the love I felt for the sport of hockey and the love for my country. I trembled again, and I cried again, the tears both for the granduer of that majestic accomplishement by a collection of mere college boys, and for the effect they could never have imagined they had on not only the nation as a whole, but on some newlywed kid in rural Georgia.

Further, did those boys ever realize the inspiration they had on Charlie Daniels, himself then an accomplished artist? Could they have envisioned the domino effect they set in motion? At the time, they no doubt saw only the incredible accomplishment they had attained in winning a hockey game, never equating it with the much larger ramifications it embodied.

How appropriate it is then that as we move beyond this week of sporting frivolity that the man who could rescue Carter from the annals of bad history is poised to double down on that bet. Since all of the indications are that Obama is fading as fast as a missed Hale Bopp comet boarding, and the kids in their purple Nikes are holding useless rolls of quarters, Obama is rolling up his sleeves to continue his assault on America as we know it.

Charlie Daniels is not only still alive, but quite vibrant. I hope he is honing his fiddle and preparing the next great song to lead us through the awful - and mercifully brief - era of Barack Hussein Obama.

I would welcome the opportunity to cry unabashedly at the greatness of America once again.

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1 comment:

Edisto Joe said...

I remember that day and as you say, it was inspiring. Every American watching that game took great pride in the win and though many would not admit it, they took a greater pride in the fact it was over our "Cold War" foe. This is the greatest country on the face of the earth and we owe no apologies for that. I truly hope we will be heading back in that direction.