This I Believe: Jet Noise

Brian - Harrisonburg, Virginia
Entered on February 27, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: freedom
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This I Believe: Jet Noise

The resort city of Virginia Beach has many intriguing things to offer visiting tourists and its residents alike. From the vibrant nightlife that can be found on the strip to relaxing on the beach with one’s family. However, about every couple minutes something else happens, a military plane takes off from the nearby Oceana Naval Air Station, the largest Naval Aviation Base on the East Coast. I believe jet noise is a constant reminder of American freedom. Simply put, a way to remember our fighting forces, our neighbors, and our loved ones who sacrifice it all for our American way of life.

Working at and frequently going to the Beach has created a personal relationship between jet noise and myself. Though it may sound cliché and corny, I believe that jet noise is the “sound of freedom”. Though a popular and often overused phrase commonly found on bumper stickers, it reflects my point of view perfectly. While working on a landscape crew over Winter Break, my friend and I would jokingly stop work every time a jet flew over and yell “Pause for Freedom”, “USA”. Though this was originally just a humorous way to pass the time will digging holes and mulching, it really got us thinking about what jet noise meant to each of us. This led my friend and I to think about the individuals flying these jets and the sacrifices that they make each and every day to secure our freedom.

Despite the disapproval of jet noise by some, all Americans can find common ground in this powerful background noise. After all those brave men and women in our armed forces allow for us to enjoy the freedom and equality that this country has to offer. Jet noise can remind American’s that, unlike other nations, they have a government whose first priority is protecting its citizens. Probably my most powerful realization of all came when the Mexican laborers, who I worked with, at first confused by our loud yelling and euphoric gesturing, eventually began to “pause for freedom” also. Despite not even being citizens of this country, they understood and appreciated their ability to come to this country, work, and provide for their families, all while knowing they are protected and safe. I often think what if I was a soldier on the ground in Iraq or Afghanistan? I think I would definitely appreciate the roar of a jet engine over my head, and I would also feel comfortable knowing that those who were trying to harm me would fear it.

So what does jet noise mean to you, regardless of your political views, think about the brave men and women sacrificing their lives so we can live freely. If your plans for this summer include a trip to Virginia Beach, remember, when relaxing on the sand with your friends and family and you hear an F-18 fly by, please, take a minute, and pause for freedom.