Friday, July 24, 2015

Conveying a message by sight and touch

Russia has debuted a new "military park" where people, including children, can experience the close-up look and feel of heavy military hardware.

Before you gasp, and denounce those war-like Russians, here's something to chew on.

In a time before political correctness, in the era of the Cold War, many American cities put military hardware not only on display, but also deployed it as playground equipment for America's impressionable children.

As a kid, I can remember climbing into the cockpit of a jet fighter and having an unrestricted, grand time there. Having a jet like that was a point of civic pride in many communities. Some cities still have those jets deployed on sandlot duty (or at least did as of a few years ago).

If a country's way of life is worth having, it's worth defending. That seems to be the message of Putin's military park. I think the civic leaders of 40 or 50 years ago probably had the same sort of thing in mind when they put milsurp jets in American playgrounds.

Such hardware also stood to testify about a nation's engineering and manufacturing marvels, served as a spark to one's imagination.

It takes more than military hardware to defend a nation, it takes a protective mindset, one that understands threats to a nation can come at home and abroad. It also takes a nation of bright people, proud of who they are, and who understand their history and traditions.

I wish we'd recapture more of a protective mindset in today's America.

I wish more people would take the time to rethink the idea of fundamental change they were sold some years back.

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