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West Newsmagazine 2-14-18

Local news, local politics and community events for West St. Louis County Missouri.

6 I OPINION I February

6 I OPINION I February 14, 2018 WEST NEWSMAGAZINE @WESTNEWSMAG WESTNEWSMAGAZINE.COM EDITORIAL A call to peace BUM—BUM—ba-ba-ba-BAH-BAH … Those trumpets sound and, suddenly, you’re there – in a crowded stadium watching flags from around the globe carried by beaming athletes – and a glistening one. Thank you, Tonga! Many of those athletes will go home with empty hands but full hearts from these Olympic games. No matter. Winning only is part of the game. Last Friday, as the 2018 Winter Olympic Games officially kicked off amid the pageantry of another opening ceremony, the world turned its attention to Pyeongchang, South Korea, and dared to hope, like those athletes, for something more than memories. At the opening ceremony, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said he hoped the Winter Olympics would be remembered as the “day peace began.” It’s a lovely thought. It’s a fairy tale, of course. But it’s still lovely to think that perhaps for 16 short days, the world can know peace. BUM—BUM—ba-ba-ba-BAH-BAH … “Bugler’s Dream.” That’s the name of the song, written by French composer Leo Arnaud, that has been used in Olympics telecasts since 1968 – well, at least those first few iconic notes. In 1984, legendary composer John Williams wrote “Olympic Fanfare and Theme.” But it’s Arnaud’s theme that transports us to a stadium in South Korea or to a living room in a simpler time. Perhaps that is what makes Olympic telecasts so special. No, not the music, but the place – the place we go to in our hearts and in our heads when we hear the music played. A couple of bursts from a trumpet; the deep, resonate tones of a kettle drum; the clashing of cymbals and, suddenly, we’re cuddled up on the couch with our parents, munching on popcorn and watching French alpine skier Jean-Claude Killy claim triple gold in 1968; or speed skater Dan Jansen skating the race of his life in 1988 and, in so doing, capturing gold and breaking a 10-year Olympic jinx, all within days of his older sister’s death; or Shaun White, a.k.a The Flying Tomato, soaring into our living room for the first time in 2006. Maybe your memories were of U.S. figure skaters Peggy Fleming, Dorothy Hamill, Scott Hamilton, Tara Lipinski or Johnny Weir. Or perhaps you rooted for the underdogs – maybe the Jamaican bobsled team or Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards, who, in 1988, became Britain’s first ski jumper in 60 years. Unlikely heroes, inspiring performances, pomp and pageantry, and, thanks to U.S. success in the medal count, plenty of patriotism as athletes and viewers, alike, fight back tears when the National Anthem is played and Old Glory is raised to the rafters. This is television at its best. As a bonus, it’s still G-rated, which means those memories we made with our parents, we now can make with our kids and grandkids. The Olympic Games give us a chance to talk about the world – where exactly is Tonga? – and what we want from its citizens. South Korea wants peace. Every nuance of the opening ceremony proclaimed that simple message. Included in the ceremony was the ancient Bell of Peace, which according to legend calmed the waves and brought peace to the lands of Korea; children searching for harmony and peace; and a magnificent, candlelit dove. Speaking on behalf of the world, IOC President Thomas Bach, a German lawyer and former Olympic fencer, said, “You will inspire us all to live together in peace and harmony despite all our differences. You will inspire us by competing for the highest honour [sic] in the Olympic spirit of excellence, respect and fair play.” In a world that seems fractured, of late, in terms of excellence, respect and fair play, let’s hope Bach’s words linger throughout these Olympic Games and perhaps take root in our hearts and in our heads as we, too, search for peace. IN QUOTES “You maybe can get a cocktail and a marriage license at the same time, right?” – a patron at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport, where a Clark County marriage license office popped up through Feb. 17. “We have a highly educated city, and they know what they’re doing.” – Wildwood Mayor Jim Bowlin, on voters in the upcoming municipal election FOLLOW US ON ON THE COVER: A student and teacher on reading techniques at Churchill School. [Photo courtesy of Churchill School] Students at LaSalle Springs Middle took part in The Great Kindness Challenge last week. “The idea is to blanket the school with acts of kindness,” sixth-grade teacher Marla Kindt explained. “We hope to build momentum that will continue kindness beyond just this one special week.”

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