Example: [Collected on the Internet, 2001]
I arrived in Moscow, Idaho (Home of Idaho University one block from Best Western) and went to dinner at Best Western. About
They all sit at a large round table behind me and begin to talk very loudly about US atrocities in Afghanistan. One of the "Professors" stands up and gives a brief talk about how the "US is famous for atrocities" and Afghanistan will be no different. One of the students asked a question about Viet Nam POW's. The "Professor" makes a comment about how that was only US propaganda about poor treatment of POW's.
OK - I'm really mad now and I jump up and go over to their table. (In retrospect - Over the entrance to the Restaurant is a huge American Flag. On each table is an American Flag and a small hand painted sign "United We Stand"). I excuse myself and ask the Professor if I can ask him a question. He says yes. I said that he appears to be of age to have served in Viet Nam, and asked him if he had served. His answer was, "NO - I defended this Campus and told the truth to the students. I then asked if he remembered what he was doing on
No one said a word to me as I started to walk back. However after a few seconds, people started standing up and applauding all around the restaurant. Two men got up from a table across the room and walked over to me. The first identified himself as former US Marine Lieutenant Flynn and the other man was former Gunnery Sergeant Graboski. In a loud voice after introducing themselves,
As he started singing, people all around the restaurant stood up and joined in. Several of the students at the "Anti-War" table also stood up half way through the song and joined in. Both Professors and the majority of the students remained seated and refused to sing. At the end there was a great ovation.
The Manager came up to my table. (He and his staff came out from the kitchen and sang). He thanked me for what I started and then went over to the Anti-War table and asked them to leave. "I will pay for what you have had so far but I cannot in good conscience serve you - get out now!!
One of the Professors then made a remark "Well, we are not going to pay one dime for how shabbily we have been treated." As they were leaving, one customer stood up and said, "Manager, here is $5 towards their bill, anyone else willing to chip in to get this scum out of here?" All over the restaurant, people stood up reaching for their wallet and saying, "I'll chip in" The Manager, in tears said, "My family is from Poland, I am now a citizen and am so proud of what I see tonight." He started crying and a couple of the waitresses helped him into the kitchen.
The two Marines and I were there for about another
Just thought you would like to hear how the rest of the country is reacting to what happened!!!
Origins: The post-Sept. 11 climate of patriotic fervor encouraged the spread of stories such as this one. Through them, folks gain a vicarious sense of having participated in defending their country (even if that "defending" amounts to putting the run on loudmouth eggheads at the local Best Western). In times of war, liberal attitudes are less tolerated, and old wounds (e.g., the Hanoi Jane chapter of the Vietnam War) are again scratched open. Less complex world views are adopted, and many draw strength from a return to the jingoism of "Love it or leave it" and "If you're not with us, you're against us."
Overly liberal attitudes are lampooned in this piece through the invocation of diametrically opposed stereotypes: the armed services veteran who has sacrificed much for his country and the stay-home college boor who is long on opinion but short on real-life contribution to the greater good. But of course the populace (in this case, the folks in the restaurant) rise up to support the patriots, thus aligning themselves on the side of right.
As real as the feelings are that fuel this story, the tale itself is not true. What follows is a statement issued by the President of the University of Idaho:
Office of the President
Moscow, Idaho 83844-3151
The Friday Letter
October 25, 2001
Dear Friday Letter reader,
We began receiving e-mail messages this morning from a number of our alumni, friends, legislators and others about 200 by
Contrary to the implications of the
The day after the attacks, the University of Idaho was a key organizer of a community rally to give students, faculty, staff, alumni, citizens the opportunity to gather and mourn the loss of their countrymen. We closed the university for a short time during the national period of mourning on
The week after the attacks, I asked
I would appreciate your assistance in debunking the urban legend that so mischaracterizes the University of Idaho. If you receive this
I appreciate the support you continue to give the University of Idaho.
President, University of Idaho
Last updated: 8 March 2008