Tuesday, December 13, 2011

About that press conference aboard the USS Iowa on Wednesday ... .

There is something sad -- and maybe a little comic -- in an old battleship that has been resurrected from the Mothball Fleet to live again as a tourist attraction.  Those 18 inch guns that once blazed menacingly at whatever served as the defined enemy at any time have been silenced, I believe, for all time.

The men aboard on Wednesday were obviously reverent and awed in her presence.  I guess it was the gender gap that caused me to have to hide my amusement when standing 'neath those big guns -- reminding my irreverent soul of the phallic symbols they so ably represent, symbols of male dominance over the seas?  Such thoughts could not be repressed, try as I might.

Wonder how those who sailed her into battle in an earlier time would feel about today's drone jockeys -- contained safely in a capsule of some kind -- somewhere in Colorado while bombing faraway places -- over an ocean away -- with little regard for lives lost.

Where do we find the heroism in that?

Nonetheless, it was impossible to not feel the drama beneath our feet on those decks so soon to re-enter history, this time as a naval museum, a reminder of days past when heroism was differently-defined.

Photo:  Ellen Gailing

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