But…but…they're so shiny!!

The Blue Angels

There are times when I can recognize my own hypocrisies. As someone who abhors war and nationalistic pageantry, you’d think I would hate air shows. I do not. I like the fancy jets. Ever since childhood, when my uncle made models of CF-18 Hornets and F-4 Phantoms for me to hang from my ceiling, I was fascinated by them. So while I’ve never attended the Canadian International Air Show at the Exhibition, I can see a great deal of it taking place from my balcony. Occasionally some of the formations swing near my building…or over it, as you can see above. When they get close, or when they put the throttle up to speed past the crowds down at Exhibition Place, I love hearing the roar from the engines. The raw power exhibited by a fighter jet just freaks me out, especially since I know they’re nowhere close to top speed.

I think, though, that I would love the sound a little less if I were a villager in Afghanistan or Iraq. There the sound doesn’t represent a feat of engineering. It represents danger. It’s the sound of death from above, just as it has been for decades in troubled parts of the world.

I see these jets flying overhead and think of all the bravery, ingenuity and resources that went into building and perfecting them. I just wish we could bring the same kind of  bravery, ingenuity and resources to bear when trying to solve a problem, instead of just dropping a bomb on it.

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