We learned about the hurricane devastation that still haunts New Orleans. We learned how to survive tornadoes in Tennessee. We learned about the grim cruelty of feed lots in Texas. And we also learned about the milk of human kindness that flows through America's small towns. We learned that all across America, churches, city halls, National Guard armories and Indian casinos were willing to put us up for a night because many wonderful Americans across this broad country also believe in the Sacred Run's motto that "All life is sacred".
And, as we trudged doggedly past the various Civil War battlefields between Fredricksburg and Arlington VA, we also learned something else. Apparently some people are still having trouble learning one of life's more obvious lessons -- that war doesn't work. Some 150 years after 17,000 soldiers were callously sent to their deaths by their idiot commanders at Fredricksburg, some people STILL think that war is a good idea.
In the short space of time that it took us to walk past the U.S. Marine base at Quantico, Virginia -- fifteen minutes max -- we saw two military funeral corteges leaving the main gate on their way to the cemetery. One funeral every 15 minutes? Does this funeral production line go on all day? Every day? Or did we just come at a bad time.
PS: The 2006 Sacred Run is over. But you know what I miss most? The morning and evening call to "Circle up!" Every morning and every evening, about 40 of us would stand in a circle and talk about "stuff". It gave me a true feeling of family. I miss that. I wanna start and end all my days with the call to "Circle up!" I want to form daily circles with my family, my friends, my neighbors, my co-workers -- and even my bosses!
And I think that the U.S. Congress and the U.S. Marine Corps need to also start and end their days that way too. Plus I bet we would have far fewer wars in this world if "aggressors" and "insurgents" circled up together every morning as well.