Posts tagged Indianapolis
I’m a nerd. If you’re reading this you probably are too. Perhaps I met some of you at GEN CON last weekend in Indianapolis. You might have seen me helping out the Mint Chocolate Chippies or the Cosplay Deviants. You might have seen me half naked on Saturday night (no small feat as 50% nudity is rather tame for me at a con, or home, or anywhere really) but what no one saw, that I’m aware of at least, were some of the best moments I spent in that far off and beautiful city.
DragonCon is currently three weeks away and as such my Spartan training is in its final and most furious stages. Ergo, twice a day workouts were managed along with all the other con activities. I like to run and the mornings in Indy were most welcoming considering I’m used to hitting the bricks in sunny, oppressively hot, Orlando. I’m not complaining, I do enjoy running. I enjoyed even more the ability to run up the broken escalators or even *gasp* a stair case past throngs of groaning and grunting fatties many of whom seemed destined to spend forever on the bottom floor of the convention space due to the fact twenty vertical steps stood between them and freedom.
And that brings me to my point.
We are all free to live pretty much as we like here in America. You can choose to be a fatty or you can choose to be fit and in the end that’s entirely up to you. You can be a doctor or a cab driver if you want. You can play Halo or Gears of War (though if you play Halo over Gears you are lame) And see, I’m free to say that. But how often do we stop to think, I mean think hard, about all that has gone into that freedom we all enjoy.
I was thankful enough to be led on my Saturday morning run to the Indiana War Memorial Plaza and its looming centerpiece, a grand monument designed to stand as a perhaps not so gentle reminder of the greatness of this country and her patriots. I’m not going to mince words or try to drag this out in an attempt to properly elocute the exact feelings I was going through during my time there shedding some tears and sweat on the stones at my feet because in all truth I’m not that competent of a writer. And even the best I would think might have trouble doing so. You had to be there. You have to feel as I do as so many do or passing by the memorial as I did would be just that, a passing moment no more important than the last. What I felt there was something I’ll remember the rest of my life.
I had my iPod on and the suite from Gears of War 2 playing on a loop. It’s all martial and reverent and moving and ended up being the perfect soundtrack as I climbed the Southern staircase in the shadow of a statue of a soldier draped in the flag standing with his hand outstretched towards the sky. This got me misty. The music and the majesty of it all. I moved on to the top floor while composing myself and made my way around to the North side where I descended the stairs to find the following inscribed along the entire length of the base. Giant letters with an even bigger meaning.
“To commemorate the valor and sacrifice of the land, sea and air forces of the United States and all who rendered faithful and loyal service at home and overseas in the World War; to inculcate a true understanding and appreciation of the privileges of American citizenship; to inspire patriotism and respect for the laws to the end that peace may prevail, justice be administered, public order maintained and liberty perpetuated.”
All sense of composure just went out the window at that point. I was overwhelmed with pride in my country, with anger at those who take advantage of her and with thankfulness for those who gave everything without looking back. I stood there for as long as it took me to memorize as much as I could of the text. Then I felt I had to do something right then, right there. So I climbed back up to the uppermost level and made my way around stopping at the center of each wall, one in each of the cardinal directions and ground out 36 push ups. One push for every year I’ve lived free. Wow right, I can do a lot of push ups.
Man, you’re missing the point.
I’ve never served in the armed forces and have barely had to sacrifice anything in my life. A couple push ups was just a small show of gratitude to all those who gave infinitely more and to all who continue to do so. It was nothing more than a humble ‘thanks’ and a way to silently say to Lady Liberty ‘I’m with you, I believe in you, in all that your freedom truly means.’
When I ran back to my hotel and got ready for the day ahead I did so with a renewed sense of all that I’ve been given and all that I am blessed to enjoy. I’ll post more in the coming days about GEN CON and I still have to recap/reminisce about Cancun as well before I talk about all the other things on my mind but for now I needed to say this.
And I hope you all heard it loud and clear. Talk to you soon.