Sunday, December 14, 2008

What Do You See and Feel?

These four pictures were taken along the parade route in Mount Airy, North Carolina on December 7, 2008.

The hometown of Andy Griffith is located thirty miles north of Winston-Salem along the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountain range.  The parade route started at the Veterans of Foreign Wars facility on W. Lebanon Street and proceeded to Main Street where a right turn took us into downtown.  The total route was about a mile long with spectators on both sides of the street.

Our Military Order of the Purple Heart float was near the front of the procession.  I joined fellow members of Chapter 638 on the float and took these pictures. The photos show views as seen through my eyes.

I looked at the spectators and saw people young and old waving. Some mothers assisted their babies with an arm movement, many children and adults waved or gave a "thumbs-up" sign. An occasional man saluted us as we passed while some women shouted the words "thank you"!

As I watched these townspeople, I thought about the economic situation in the Mt. Airy area. I reflected upon the recent months and years of news about the high rate of job layoffs in factories that made socks, knit shirts, or sweaters. Some factories are closed permanently. Most jobs were sent "offshore" for reasons of costs and profits. Offshore profits that swelled executive bonuses and lowered costs which kept prices low in some retail stores.  (In theory, investors in common stock prospered also.  We all know how those investments paid off.)

I wondered about our past ideals and institutions of governance. Our institution of capitalism became unbridled and allowed unethical and greedy people to put other people out of work. Many who lost jobs were patriots with ten or twenty-plus years of devoted service to their employer. Now many can't afford the goods and services even at the low prices.

Somehow, it just doesn't feel right to me.  How does it feel to you?

Have a good week!


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