Peace Flag returns to the Cleveland Air Show

After a year’s hiatus forced by the pandemic, the Cleveland National Air Show at Burke Lakefront Airport returned yesterday. Repeat performances are scheduled for today and tomorrow, Labor Day, although it is raining today. As I have done for the past several years, I promoted peace during yesterday’s event, from about 9:45 until 4:45, with around an hour’s break for lunch, wearing my 53-year-old U.S. Army dress uniform and carrying my peace flag. I have to admit, most people were not comfortable with my presence, although the image is not something they will soon forget. A few people were appreciative and took photos of me with their companion. I encouraged the photographers to circulate the images as much as possible–Facebook, Instagram, email, etc. Two gentlemen remembered my presence from earlier years and appreciated my message. I told a couple of women that “I am promoting peace. We need much more peace, civility, tolerance, mutual respect and compassion in our society–and in the world. Those values have eroded over the past several years.” The women agreed wholeheartedly.In the late afternoon after the show and as people headed home, I told a young couple sympathetic to my message that people thank me for serving our country but that “I didn’t serve my country. I served deceitful, lying, fear-mongering, war-mongering politicians and their war-profiteering bed partners.” Today’s Plain Dealer has a full page photo story of yesterday’s air show and I was more than a little taken aback by reporter/photographer David Petkiewicz’s description of the U.S Air Force’s five precision-flying Thunderbird jets as “beloved.” Wait, what??!! Mother Teresa is beloved–NOT high-tech multi-million dollar instruments of death and destruction. Referring to such machinery as “beloved” is just plain INSANE. I’m guessing–with a great degree of certainty–the writer is not a war veteran.

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