I may not be the first to offer this to all of you, but welcome to 2010.
We made it through the first decade of the new millennium but not without some bumps and bruises, but what a decade it has been.
We began the new millennium expecting the computers and technology to grind us to a halt due to software limitations in date storage, the infamous but lackluster Y2K bug. In a wonderful worldwide sense of unity and anticipation we were able to watch New Year's celebrated around the world in a day long media blitzed event which I think was the first in our history.
While the year began with a celebration of a new millennium in the United States the year winded up with one of the most bitter Presidential elections in history that resulted for the first time in a lawsuit in Federal courts before the results were certified and the son of a President became president for only the second time in our nation's history. While Dubya became the first two term president of the new millennium, his term ended in controversy and doubts about his decisions to lead us into a war for debatable reasons.
One could say the 2000 election cursed both of its participants. Dubya retreated to Texas in probably a sense of relief of surviving his tumultuous two terms. On the other hand, former Vice President Al Gore who spent the decade building momentum for dealing with global warming is ending the decade as a front man for an apparent fraudulent movement but not before it earned him millions of dollars and an Academy award and a Nobel Peace Prize.
It's too bad that his movie was exposed by ABC of all media outlets as having fraudulent imagery in it depicting locales that don't exist except in a fictional movie. In addition, the recent resignation of a leading British researcher over a scandal involving the purposeful destruction of temperature data that shows the earth is cooling in direct contradiction to Gore's tirades has added to the proof that global warming is a myth. It's a myth making Gore and his cronies in the UN and business billions of dollars and it will ultimately cost capitalism and the taxpayers around the world dearly. All because of fraud.
Besides global warming being exposed, this decade also saw the most heinous act of war committed on American soil against private citizens since the War of 1812 when Britain burned and looted Washington DC. In addition it was the second worst attack on America since Pearl Harbor, also an alleged sneak attack. Nine Eleven changed our lives forever. We became vulnerable. We sacrificed individual freedoms for safety. Flying on an airplane has been forever changed. Security is extremely tight now everywhere which is not necessarily a bad thing but it is the most visible effect of 9/11. In this part of Pennsylvania, many of us were touched personally by the World Trade Center attack including myself. It was one of the saddest days in American History.
Most of the decade internationally though was monopolized by the Iraq War and the War in Afghanistan. Two conflicts and a President later that have not been resolved and probably are not even close to ending even though our new President assured Americans he would stop them. He also assured us that Guantanamo Bay would be closed down and its prisoners shifted to American soil, a move many critics view as a bad tactical decision. Here we are a year later close to his deadline and that promise has not been kept.
The decade also saw history in another sense in that for the first time a black person was elected President. Whether we agree or disagree with his politics, it is a fantastic statement on the progress the United States has made in 234 years and even on Civil Rights in the last 40 years. The barrier has been broken and now the only one remaining is for a woman to hold the highest office in the land. I think this is an exciting time and while I don't agree with his politics I'm proud to be part of a country that continues to prove there is no limit to what can be achieved.
This decade also brought sadness to us with the loss of many icons and legends. Some of the most notable included Farrah Fawcett, magician Doug Henning, cartoonist Charles Schulz, Princess Margret, country legends Johnny and June Carter Cash, Mr. Television Milton Berle, the Queen Mother, Mr. Rogers of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, Katharine Hepburn, David Brinkley and Bob Hope.
Also, promoter Sam Phillips who was responsible for the launching of the careers of Elvis, BB King, Ike Turner as well as Cash. Also lost were John Ritter, "Captain Kangaroo" Bob Keeshan, Presidents Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford, Johnny Carson, ventriloquist Paul Winchell (also the voice of Tigger), Peter Jennings, Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist, Richard Pryor, Don Knotts, famous clown Emmitt Kelly, Jr., James Brown, columnist Art Buchwald, Eddy Arnold, Charlton Heston and Harvey Korman as well as Tim Russert, George Carlin, radio personality Paul Harvey, Ed McMahon, Michael Jackson, Walter Cronkite and Ted Kennedy.
This is by no means an inclusive list but a roster of those who have probably touched most of us in one way or another. What's past is past. Remember to remember, but not dwell on what was. We only have the road in front of us.
It's now time to create a new decade with new memories and hopefully much happier ones. May your years ahead shine brightly and with hope and welcome 2010 and all the opportunity it brings.
Til next time…