Veteran's Day -- 11/11/01

Armistice Day, originally, the eleventh day of the eleventh month, the day the fighting stopped across Europe during World War One... renamed as Veteran's Day after World War Two... a day to remember all of those men and women who have served in our armed forces. This is an especially important Veteran's Day, being exactly two months since the 9-11 attacks.

Remembrance Day in Canada, a very fitting name...

And here I am, ironically enough, typing this on my laptop in the waiting area at Gate 6 at PVD, waiting for USAirways flight US 2426 to PIT...

Yes, another trip to Pittsburgh... four weeks ago I got here just past noon to catch this same flight and was able to catch the "11:15 am" flight (which wasn't leaving until almost one)... Today I got to the airport around 12:30 today to catch my 2:50 flight. To my delight I found that curbside checkin was again available so I checked my suitcase and headed to the security checkin area... a long line but it moved very quickly and efficiently and I was soon in the departures area, waiting at Gate 6.

And waiting...

Although using curbside checkin saved me from having to stand in line at the ticket counter, I therefore needed to get my boarding pass at the gate... about forty-five minutes after I got to the waiting area (long enough to grab a small tuna wrap and a small coffee -- $7.22) the gate personnel opened for business, so I got to spend ten minutes or so in line to get my boarding pass. They also announced at that time that our plane would not be arriving here until about a quarter to three... thus making our 2:50 departure more like 3:15 or 3:20.

Friday night Sean and his girlfriend planned on attending a football game (our local high school team... Sean's school, that is, his girlfriend lives in a different town)... so I fed them early (around 6pm) so they could get to the game on time... but then Sean decided that he was too tired (which I translate to meaning they thought it would be cozier to snuggle in the living room "watching" television rather than sit outdoors on metal bleachers on a chilly night... Nancy got home around 6:30 (she's co-teaching a confirmation class) and, after a light workout (treadmill and weights) I fixed dinner for us... Jennifer was off with her friends.

Saturday was the usual: run errands, stop at the library, go grocery shopping, do laundry, etc. as Jennifer went off with friends to Emerald Square Mall in Massachusetts and Sean went to a Saturday afternoon Naragansett High School football game and then, at night, with a group of friends to a performance of Midsummer Night's Dream at Prout School (the local Catholic high school.) Saturday night Nancy and I took her mother out to dinner -- The Italian Village Restaurant, Main Street, Wakefield, RI -- I had a very tasty chicken marsalla -- and then we walked around the corner to the Campus Cinema to see Shallow Hal. We all enjoyed it -- it's not the same kind of wild side-splitting laughter-inducing film as Something About Mary -- but it was fun, a number of amusing scenes, not as biting as the usual Farrelly brother movie, more of a sweet sentimentality than I expected. It's not their best movie, but worth seeing.

A typical (might almost say stereotypical) small town American weekend -- made possible for us only because of the sacrifices made by our nation's veterans.

And later, in Pittsburgh...

It's a short flight from Providence to Pittsburgh, just 466 frequent flyer miles, not much more than an hour and a half flight. (By the way, everyone calls PVD "Providence" but, as a number of signs featuring the mayor of Warwick inform you in the gate areas, "No matter what your flight attendant has told you, you have just landed in Warwick") Coming into Pittsburgh International Airport at this time of day it is easy to notice the twenty-five minutes or so of extra daylight from being this far west in the time zone... yeah, okay, same amount of daylight per day, but the sun rises later here and sets later here.

November 11th, two months after the attacks... Veteran's Day... A day to think about and honor all of those who have served this country, all who have fought and struggled and sacrificed to protect the freedoms we enjoy... and to think about and honor all of those men and women who even now are in harm's way fighting against those who seek to destroy us.

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