Sunday, April 16, 2006

He Leaves as a Boy and Returns a Man

Question: What is the purpose of "ritual" in our lives?
Answer: Rituals add solomnity to the milestones of our lives.

Sometime in the past, our society decided that silly little rituals
really had no meaning and weren't worth celebrating. Harvest festivals
have become simple tourist attractions. Founder's Day Picnics are
relagated to sleepy backwater towns. Marriages can be had at every justice of the peace (or every corner in Las Vegas).

The ritual I miss the most is the rites of passage as boys become men.
Gone are the days where there is clear boundary line to help a young man take on the mantle of adulthood. There is, however, an exception to
this statement. Military bootcamp still takes raw boys and forges young,
capable men.

I picked up the duckling from Marine bootcamp today. He grew 6 inches
and runs 6 miles for "fun." He qualified as an Expert marksman and can
hit his target at 500 yards with open sights. He ribs his brothers about
the length of their hair and presses his clothes to make sure he looks

This is a man I would trust to defend my family. This is a man that I
willingly present as capable of defending his country. My son is now a