Tuesday, April 16, 2013

the last 'normal' day in the America I grew up in

April 18 1995 was an idyllic day on the White House lawn. I was deejaying the World POG Federation area for the White House Easter Egg Roll. POGs were the pop culture rage that year and had the prime spot across the driveway from the Oval Office.

About to turn 7 yrs old in 4 days, our daughter Megan was enjoying not only all the Easter Egg Roll activities but wearing her full access pass for helping me she had the run of the White House grounds. Patti was at home with her home care helper.  

Loading up and ready to depart I could not find Megan and ‘assumed’ we were playing a one sided game of hide and seek.

Notice the foil paper mask Megan is modeling in the collage? Well she decided to hide in our van figuring I would search the grounds first. Our van was parked directly in front of the Oval Office.

With 2013 vision can you even imagine how relaxed security was 18 years ago?

Two Secret Service agents had decided to conspiratorially join my search. As we passed the van, Megan startled us by suddenly sliding open the passenger side door wearing her mask, yelling boo at the top of her lungs and jumping from the van like some crazy character.

Shrubbery seemed to bloom with armed men as did the White House Roof. “Stand Down” was barked and repeated into microphones. 

Following a lecture to a certain almost 7 year old about not yelling and lunging from a van parked within yards of the Oval Office, we drove on out. Exiting the gate we felt like celebrities as our van was mobbed by camera wielding tourists.

At 9:05 AM the next morning April 19th home grown terrorists disgruntled over the Federal Government’s handling of the Waco siege of the Branch Dravidian compound used the 2nd anniversary to attack the Federal Building in Oklahoma City with a truck bomb.

Reading today about the search for normalcy in Boston, I couldn't help but reflect back and IMHO April 18, 1995 was the last ‘normal’ day in the America that I grew up in.

Patrick Leer
Health Activist:
Caregivingly Yours, MS Caregiver @ http://caregivinglyyours.blogspot.com/

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