1/28/2009

No Friendly Firefighters in Cleveland!

When I was growing up the stereotypical image of the firefighter was the true hero and a friendly person you could always count on in an emergency. They were the folks with the Dalmatians and the cool trucks.

In Cleveland it seems that friendly just doesn't cut it though.
An Ohio firefighter has been given a six-month suspension from his role in a pipe and drum band because he nodded to President Barack Obama during last week's inaugural parade in Washington.

Video shows Drum Major John Coleman giving the nod along with a fleeting wave as the Cleveland Firefighter's Memorial Pipes & Drums marched past the president.

The band leader, Pipe Major Mike Engle, said the firefighter from Cleveland Heights violated the proper decorum required in a military parade. He said members were warned not to make such gestures during the parade.

Coleman says Obama smiled and waved, and that he was just acknowledging the president.

So, "Pipe Major" Engle thinks it was a "military parade." Maybe Fireman Mike can explain the presence of all those high school kids, Native Americans, Gays, Women in hoop skirts, and a lawnmower drill team?

This is about as dumb as things get. It's nice Fireman Mike thinks he's in some military organization and I hate to disabuse him of his delusion, but let's be real. We don't need our firemen thinking they're part of a special forces branch of the military. Our police officers have already staked out that territory with their body armor, military weapons, and even their tanks and APC's. The whole "Protect and Serve" motto is long gone replaced by "Taze and Shoot."

Could we please allow our fireman to be friendly? Please? It'd be such a nice retro thing. As for me, I wasn't offended in the least and I saw the nod to President Obama and his family. I thought it was extremely respectful that the drum major acknowledge the President's wave and salute and showed some appreciation and pride for taking part in the parade. It was a nice change from the folks who marched by our President with their noses stuck in the air like he didn't exist.

Lighten up Mike, you're acting like a tool.

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