The Bwana Brood recently visited The Happiest Place in the World, and while there was reminded yet again of the sacrifices made to allow this country to live free.
We were on the monorail following a memorable dinner at Chef Mickey’s at the Contemporary Resort, where me and the WMD were photographed with Mickey, Donald, Minnie, Pluto, and other Disney characters. The monorail back to the Magic Kingdom to get back to our bus routed us to other resorts first. We found ourselves on a crowded car that included a man on one of the motorized scooters that can be rented by those who might have difficulty walking around the various parks.
The car was dark, but there was enough light to realize the gentleman on the scooter had a prosthetic right leg. He looked to be in his mid-late thirties, clean cut, conservative cut dark hair, muscled arms, and a serious look that suggested to me he had seen some things-a look that softened when he looked over and talked to a woman I assumed was his wife and three very sweet young girls. The prosthetic leg resembled the government issue models I had recently read about in an online article about the wounded from Iraq and Afghanistan.
Also in the car was a loud bunch who would not shut up and went on about how crowded things were and hot they were-the kind of mouthy folks who just drive you up a wall. Their kvetching was clearly getting to the wife, who after they had said about ten times in two minutes how hot it was piped up with, “Well, it’s not as hot as it is in Fallujah”.
Dead silence in the car…and the man on the motor scooter calmly patted his wife’s hand, turned to the now silent noisemakers, and said “you are right, it was awfully hot out in the resorts today”.
About then we pulled in the the Central Transportation Terminal, and the chief noisemaker asked the man where they were staying. “Shades of Green” was the reply. Soon the car came to a stop, the man, his family, and the noisemakers all disembarked.
For those not in the know, Shades of Green is an Armed Forces Recreation Center on the WDW property. You have to be active duty or retired to stay there. Clearly the man on the motor scooter was a fellow who had seen some things.
On this Fourth of July, remember the bravery, courage, and vision of the Founding Fathers. Remember those who have paid the ultimate price over the years to maintain that vision…but don’t forget the sacrifices made every day by folks like the Man on the Motor Scooter and his family. Though the degrees and shades may differ, the sacrifice is just as real and sometimes just as permanent.
I know that after that short monorail ride, the Bwana Brood won’t.
Have a happy and safe Fourth of July!