Where the inside of my mind leaks onto the screen.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Thoughts from Stone Mountain

On Friday, Brett and Lisa took us to Stone Mountain Park where we got to watch a laser show on the side of this HUGE stone wall.  The center of the wall (and focal point of the laser show) features a Confederate Memorial Carving of Jefferson Davis, General Robert E. Lee, and Stonewall Jackson.  It was a fitting time to attend a fireworks and laser show, just one day before I'd have celebrated Pioneer Day had I been home in Utah.  The lasers were pretty amazing, the music was fun, and I left feeling like I'd just sat through an entertaining lesson in Georgian history.  (Did you know that Outkast, the B-52's, and James Brown were all from Georgia?)

One of my favorite parts was when Mariah Carey's "Hero" morphed into "Go the Distance" from Hercules and the laser show depicted hometown heros like school teachers and doctors and then military heroes and firemen.  It was followed by a great rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner" with a new set of words. 

My least favorite part was the realization that my fellow Americans have so little respect for our country that less than half of the audience stood for the national anthem.  I could understand not jumping right up; I didn't even think of it until my sister stood.  But as some people started to stand and others didn't it became apparent to me that there was no passive choice.  People either chose to stand or chose to sit.  Chose to have their view of the laser show blocked by the respectful people standing in front of them.  Chose to impart a disrespect for country to their small children by their example.  Chose to let phrase after powerful phrase pass them by while they remained still.

It was also interesting to contemplate the Civil War from a southern perspective.  It must be a bit of a struggle to be proud of one's heritage and one's ancestors who fought for what they believed was right but also to know they lost and the country was better for it.  Actually, it was interesting to contemplate the Civil War at all.  I think it doesn't hold as much weight in the West where "we" weren't a part of it and where, in Utah at least, it seems like religion is often a bigger deal than race.

I expected a fun evening, and I was pleased to have also been offered the opportunity to think about some of the moments that made this country great and to be proud to stand for my country.