Yesterday we went to the Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland. My daughter's college room mate and her son have been staying with us this weekend, so we took them to 'see the sights.' We did all of the things that an inquisitive and energetic 4 year old could want. There is so much to see and do there. I was impressed. But, what really caught my interest was the Cleveland Air Show that was going on next to us at Burke Lakefront Airport. As we arrived in the parking lot, a military jet fighter was giving a demonstration. So, we sat and watched from our vehicle for a while. Later, at the Science Center, we saw people flocking to the deck outside. My wife and I walked out there and saw that the Navy Blue Angels were performing. The pilots were making these multi-million dollar machines dance with incredible skill. It was obvious that many hours had been spent honing their skill. As these huge war-birds screamed across the sky and maneuvered with apparent ease into various loops and rolls; seeming to just miss each other at unbelievable speeds, the crowds clapped and waved. The thing that impressed me the most was the sound. When I said that they 'screamed' across the sky, I was not exaggerating. The noise was incredible. Chills ran down my spine as these 'swords' of the U.S. military flashed and cut their way through the air.
I have to say that I watched with mixed feelings. There was a sort of pride in the fact that these machines were built by humans whom God endowed with the brains to imagine and create them. Also, I have lived my entire life in the U.S., and these are part of our culture and heritage. But, at the same time, they are also weapons with incredible abilities to kill and destroy. I mentioned to my wife after one pass that I wondered what it would be like to be in a small village in a developing nation when these jets howled past them at several hundred miles per hour. The sound and spectacle alone would be enough to panic. Then, there is the destructive capability that these planes carry in weapons payload. In many cases, people on the ground would never hear or see a thing. Their world would simply end.
Yes, the technology and human achievement on display was magnificent. However, I hope to be present when these swords can finally be beaten into plowshares.