Thursday, November 03, 2005

Philadelphia and Baghdad

Army Girl came and stayed with us this weekend and we had a joint birthday for her and Mason (of course he was more than thrilled to share his birthday with a "real Army girl"!) Both boys were thrilled that she brought them the coveted military poncho liners (which are currently a huge fort in my living room), flashlights and [her division] coins.

On Sunday AG and I managed to tear AB from her TV (the Eagles were losing playing) and we all went into Center City. After a day of shopping and dining on Walnut Street (aka ALa's heaven) I started feeling guilty and thinking she should see more than Diesel and Burberry while she was we got a cab and went to the Liberty Bell (*which now has airport level security to get anywhere near it). After the Bell we went to Independence Hall and, thanks to the National Park Service officers knowing AG's company commander, were whisked past the large (paying) line amd into the tour for free.

I have been on the tour before, but this was the first time I actually listened. Philadelphia is so steeped in history --I'd wager to say, more than any other in the country. AS I listened to the tour guide talk about the night that Independence from Britain was declared and how right there in Independence hall men had come in and pried the British Coat of Arms from the wall -then drug it through the streets -then set it on fire I couldn’t help but think about the Iraqis and Saddam's statue. Then standing in the next room where the Constitution was actually written and signed (and hearing how long it all actually took) made the reality of how quick the Iraqis drafted and signed theirs (not to mention two elections) all the more impressive.

Regardless of your political stripes (or confidence in the Iraqis ability to achieve a working Democracy in defiance of Allah who forbids it), you have to be impressed with the fact that the elections in Iraq have had higher turnouts than we have in the Sates (and we aren't facing bullets and bombs -well, unless you're voting against the Philly Unions that is...). They have drafted and signed their Constitution MUCH faster than we did --and our Bill of Rights wasn't written and added until much later. Being there this weekend gave me a deeper understanding and appreciation of our own independence and made me proud and hopeful about theirs. I do believe that Democracy is the only real way (that isn't nuclear) that will stop terrorism.

AG: We'll do the Zoo next time -when SEPTA isn't on strike causing gridlock throughout the city. Gotta love those unions...

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