Convention of Statesmen

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Stadium of Fire 2008

On July 4th, I was able to attend the Stadium of Fire with my sister and two nieces, ages 9 and 4. The girls were so excited about seeing Hannah Montana a.k.a. Miley Cyrus, they were literally stripping their gears.

When we found out, the previous Wednesday, that we were going to be able to go, the four of us were so excited. Heather and I were thrilled to see Glenn Beck and Miley Cyrus. Heather was excited to see the Blue Man Group (don't really get them myself). All the girls cared about seeing was Miley Cyrus.

So it was with much excitement that we trudged into the stadium two hours before the show was to began. (Bless Alvin for dropping us off right at the stadium. He and Aaron, my brother-in-law, hate crowds and traffic so they had no desire to go.) We found our seats, 3rd row, settled in and looked toward the stage. We couldn't see it. $260 and all we could see were platforms, cameras and lights completely blocking the view. I was pretty angry, but at that point, clearly the poor planning of the organizers insured that nothing could be done about it. Not that late in the game.

We decided to make the best of it, although I was pretty peeved. I have to tell you. To see the disappointment on those two little girls' faces nearly broke my heart.

Anyway, the parachuters jumped into high winds, descending quickly and dangerously, I thought, to land safely. Skye, who is 4, was climbing all over Heather, my sister, jumping up and down, grabbing at Heather's ears and hair, dropping kisses all over her face as she squealed with excitement. She loved the parachuters. Stormy and I were pretty excited about it as well, clasping hands while we watched breathlessly for them to safely land. One narrowly missed one of the lights. But everyone of them landed safely. Oddly, I noticed they were all wearing sandals. Weird. All in all, it's the part I always look forward to.

Then came the fighter jets, flying over the stadium with a roar. Always, one of my favorite parts as well. Soldiers marched in, the flags of the various branches of the military were flown and the American Flag stood tall above it all. The show was broadcast to 1,000 military installations worldwide and over 800,000 American troops were able to enjoy this incredible patriotic celebration of our nation's birth.

Glenn Beck is one of my favorite talk show hosts. I try to listen or watch him every day, if my schedule permits.

He walked out on to the stage, not that I could see him, and gave the most stirring speech on the American flag I have ever heard.

He spoke of the colors: red for courage, white for purity and blue for loyalty. He talked of our Founding Fathers, the pioneers who carved out this great nation and the soldiers who still defend her today. He continued to share his knowledge of this great nation as the American Flag, almost the size of the football field, was unrolled by American soldiers.

Tears came to his eyes and choked him up as he talked about how great America is and how she faces perilous times. He then spoke with such conviction when he said America is the greatest nation on earth. And truly, that is how Americans feel. We love this nation with our whole hearts and souls and I am not ashamed to admit it. His words were so powerful and I wished I'd brought my notebook so I could write them down. He spoke straight to the heart of this American.

In all honesty, I was very disappointed in the crowd at the stadium. His beautiful words and sentiments were given basic applause. The Blue Man Group and Miley Cyrus were greeted with thunderous applause, but this man who loves America so much and fights for her every day of his life was not given the greatest applause, which he and his words so richly deserved.

Then 1,500 dancers and over 300 athletes enacted many of the Olympic sports in a seven minute presentation. Fencers, basketball and baseball players, weight lifters, gymnasts, equestrian, they covered as much as they could in that short amount of time.

The girls really loved it, as did Heather and I.

Then came the Blue Man Group. Really, I don't get the attraction. But everyone screamed for joy when they burst onto the stage.

They're pretty bizarre, but their schtick was about teaching the audience to be "rock stars." Oh yeah, there was the head bobbing, fist pumping . . . the whole enchilada. They had the stadium jumping.

Heather and I encouraged the girls to participate in ever level of it. Me, at the end of their part of the show, I still didn't get it.

But that's okay, I got to hear Glenn Beck speak about America and that was an incredible experience. Blue Man Group was enjoyable, but yeah . . . no thrill here.

Then came the moment our little girls were waiting for. Miley Cyrus jumped out on stage and began to sing. They were so excited! Skye was literally screaming and jumping with excitement, on Heather's lap. I'm certain Heather's a mass of bruises this morning. She said it was like holding a live wire for three hours.

Stormy began to cry because she couldn't see Miley Cyrus at all. We all know how it goes, you pay money to go to a concert, which you watch on the big screen because the performer is so tiny you can't see them. But Stormy had expected to be able to actually see Hannah Montana. With the lights, cameras and platforms completely blocking the view to the stage, she was unable to even see the miniature Miley Cyrus. She was completely heartbroken. It took more than half of Miley's set to help her feel better and be excited about hearing Miley sing live. To help her understand that being there, with all the people and the excitement was about more than NOT being able to actually see the performer. Sadly, I was lying through my teeth. $260 and I think we should the performers, even their miniatures, because to pay that much money and see lights, cameras and platforms was a complete ripoff.

Stormy actually said, "We could have stayed home and watched Miley Cyrus on t.v. and actually seen her." She was right. What could I say?

Miley sang three songs the girls knew, the rest were new so it wasn't as much fun for them. But by the end of Miley's set, they were really enjoying themselves with the dancing, jumping and generally having a good time.

Although a very long, and at times disappointing, evening, we really enjoyed ourselves. Watching the excitement on the girls' faces as each new thing unfolded was really rewarding. We had fun. But yeah, I'm going to write a letter. We weren't the only ones who paid a fortune to look at the equipment. There were many other things they could have done in the place of the cameras and lights, they just chose the easy way which blocked the view of thousands of attendees. At the very least, they should say:

"Hey, these seats suck so we're only going to charge you $10." Because charging $65 for cruddy seats was a huge part of what made me so mad. Do you think I can get them to refund us $220 dollars? I'm generous so I'll leave them $40 dollars to pay for the seats we had.
Stadium of Fire 2008 Stadium of Fire 2008 Reviewed by Candace Salima on Sunday, July 06, 2008 Rating: 5