During a century ride last year, I did a double-take when I saw a semi-famous person I recognized on the ride. It was L. Paul Bremer, the guy who oversaw the U.S. occupation of Iraq after the invasion in 2003. Trying NOT to get political here, but suffice it to say that I may have a few disagreements with the gentleman about the way the Iraq occupation was handled, let alone if we should have been there in the first place. But I actually was tempted to go over and make a few snide comments to him. Not proud of that, but it's true.
On last week's Civil War Century at the first rest stop I was looking at the posted ride map with somebody. He was asking about the battle of South Mountain, and when he got oriented on the map, pointed out the route Lee took during his invasion of MD and PA in 1863. We chatted a bit about the route.
Then I looked over and saw that I was actually talking with Mr. Bremer. I felt like a d*ck frankly for the way I reacted to seeing him last year. It was the day before the 10th anniversary of 9/11. We were on a bike route tracing the most horrendous intra-American fighting that has ever taken place, on our way to the battlefield at Gettysburg.
I felt thankful that for as much as we can and should disagree with each other, we can still remain civil. I'm glad on that day at least the "better angels of our nature" prevailed, for me at least, and I hope I remember that lesson in the future.