Jul 1, 2010

Thank You, Brave Friends!

As the birthday of this great nation looms large on the horizon, this is the perfect time to step back from the molehills in our lives that we worship like sacred mountains and to project ourselves all the way around the world to where those brave and heroic men and women, our neighbors, really - are away from home in a foreign land with friends they never thought they would have (and who they would now willingly die for!) and in places few sane people would willingly go. This collective harvest of excellence, drawn from towns both small and large across America, is a shockingly representative sample of this human experiment that we call home - and few towns anywhere have more reason to be more awe-inspired and appreciative than the kooky and largely self-absorbed Town of Lamont. Let's be honest here. If, by some cruel twist of fate, the Greater Lamont Metropolitan Area (GLMA) was somehow transported to the historical Soviet Union or Nazi Germany (and maybe even Canada between the 2 world wars!), I think we all know that the whole dern mess of us would have been shipped off to Siberia or some frozen 're-education camp' long ago. (Editorial Note: What town doesn't need a good, cleansing trip to the gulag from time to time? Well, that might be okay if the Lamont Blog got to pick who actually went to that frozen nightmare! Just kidding. Okay, that was a bad joke but that is the ultimate rub though, isn't it? Who gets to actually pick the ones who 'go away'! Anyway! Moving right along! And for the record, (and before our detractors go berserk and get on the horn to their well-worn gossip networks) - the Lamont Blog is decidedly and profoundly 'anti-gulag'. In fact, we are anti-authoritarian in almost every way - but 'anti-gulag' ranks right up there at the top! Okay, we are kind of soft on anti-disestablishmentarianism, but that is just because it is the longest word in the English language. But for that we would be against it!) (Hey, I thought we were 'moving right along', for crying out loud!) The GLMA's of the world are only allowed to exist at all because our system of government, although not perfect, is big enough to accommodate even the most outrageous tomfoolery and truly shocking excesses in human quirkiness - and the very fulcrum of this tolerance-inspired system of human governance are those select individuals who serve others in our much media-maligned yet shockingly adept Armed Forces - whether that service is at Firebase Bella in the wild and primeval Waygal Valley in Afghanistan - a valley that even Alexander The Great bypassed because of the hostile and cranky natives (Oh, why won't people ever change? I mean, come on!) or the lunar hellishness of the Western Desert of Iraq or even the volatile and hair-trigger Demilitarized Zone in the Koreas. Project yourself over there - with its withering heat, nightmarish insects, the smell of sweat and waste and camels (Oh, and we in Lamont endlessly gripe about our 'little cow problem!!) and tap into the hopes, dreams, aspirations and astounding beauty and inner strength of those giants who last year worked at a Dairy Queen in Dothan, Alabama or were farmers in Whitman County, Washington. In their example, hopefully, we can find new reserves of goodness in ourselves! And, after all, don't we owe them that, at least? They will be coming back here soon, after all - most of them in one piece, Lord willing!

Any of you who know Lamont know that we can ride on the wings of fancy and self-praise with the best of them. (Most of us can, anyway. The rest - and you know who you are - want things to remain cruddy and medieval and squeal with each new advance!) Our current obsession is a new garbage can we have in the park. It was old and metal, but we painted it bright colors and it just adds a 'certain something' to our little public space and we love it. (It is a really cool, old design!) One might argue that with the world like it is, our focusing on such trivialities is a crime against all that we should hold sacred. But, you see, we respectfully disagree! Our nutty obsessiveness over the most obscure improvements is, in fact, a token of appreciation to those brave souls who carry the lumber of Freedom for us all. The luxury that is Lamont's self-absorption was paid for with the most precious coin this Republic can offer. Talk about a pearl of great price! So yes, there is no shame in Lamont making a fuss over the most mundane things - in fact, truth be known, we should do more of it! (And what the heck else do we have to do, for Pete's sake!!!) So, in case the military censors are not doing their job and have failed to block the Lamont Blog in a well-reasoned attempt to keep the morale of the average soldier and sailor from collapsing (What, is that why I have my rear-end all the way over here in this hellish, hate-filled oven where people are shooting at me and where my nose is under constant assault, just to enable and protect that doggone Lamont, WA, for crying out loud? Oh, what was I thinking when that recruiter came to my high school?) (Editorial Note: That could be pretty discouraging for the average person, come to think of it! But societies are always judged by how they treat the least among them! But to fight to support Lamont? That does seem wrong on any number of levels! See why we are so thankful?) - we would like to extend our small but sincere note of personal thanks to you all, regardless of locale. So many of the things we as a nation take for granted and would yelp with indignant outrage if they were taken away are bought with your youth, energy, sacrifice and humanity. (and just think of your poor mothers and the mountains of worry they lay at the Lord's feet every day! The scope of the comprehensive sacrifice is truly staggering!!) What more can be said than that? But this little town knows and remembers! Keep safe and Godspeed! And when you get home, come see our garbage can! It ain't much, but to us it is pretty special!

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