Thursday, December 28, 2006

Rain, Mist, Cannon, President

I was a young officer in the headquarters of the United States Army Criminal Investigation Command in Washington, D.C. on the day Gerald Ford became president.

It was a rainy day and although everyone was trying to conduct business as usual, a few of the offices had radios so the events could be followed. We didn't have one in my office but occasionally someone from the department across the hall would drop by and give us an update.

I looked out of my window and watched the mist. Our headquarters was in an old building next to Fort McNair, nestled right by the Potomac and home of the Old Guard, the elite unit that is used at Arlington and White House ceremonies.

As President Nixon's helicopter left the White House, you could hear the methodical blast of cannons being fired as a salute by troops at Fort McNair. The effect was almost mystical.

Rain, mist, cannon, and a new president.

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