Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A Minute from Myles: Citadel-Princeton Band Action

Posted by Greg Hambrick on Tue, Sep 30, 2008 at 12:59 PM

Intern Myles Hutto offers his two cents on the recent exchange. Check out our thoughts here.

Clarinets and Cadets

When the Princeton scramble band walked down Citadel’s “Avenue of Remembrance,” sacred ground that honors the university’s alumni killed in action, they knowingly or unknowingly offended some Cadets.

There are two very different accounts of the event. One tells of angry cadets picking on nerdy, defenseless clarinet-players, while the other paints a picture of cadets defending their turf and honor in the wake of a blatant display of disrespect.

The animosity between the two schools almost seemed like symbols of that nations’ countering political views. The Citadel’s values of service and country stand in stark contrast to the Ivy League arts school’s association with elitism and liberalism. Whether these ideas associated with Princeton are well-founded is debatable, the Citadel’s reputation, however, is not open to debate, taking great pride in its traditions of duty and country.

Stigmas and reputations aside, the event runs an eerie parallel to the beginning of the Civil War. In January 1861, Citadel cadets opened fire on the “Star of the West,” thus starting the deadliest war in American History.

What does the clash of Cadets and the Princeton marching band mean? Does it mean that its fun to pick on kids with clarinets. Well, yeah. But could it also mean the nation is moving closer to a second Civil War?

The recent scuffle is a sobering example of the growing rift amongst Americans. As the nation moves closer to an election it is increasingly evident that America is divided and disillusioned. The fact that the two candidates in this election are almost dead even exemplifies the level of separation in America. The country is headed toward its third straight election that falls straight down the middle.

We must heed the lessons of history. When congress and the government fail to please everyone (let alone almost half of the country), sooner or later differences in opinion will stir people to action. Right now there is a major difference of opinion in this country.

Could it be possible that America is reaching its breaking point not even 150 years later? Whatever the event on the Citadel’s campus means, let us remember that there was nothing civil about the Civil War. And please leave the kid with the clarinet alone.—Myles Hutto

Below is the halftime show, complete with Citadel cadets drowning out most of the show.

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Greg Hambrick
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