Friday, July 1, 2011
the Russians are coming
I was out at the Naval Station in Norfolk when the Russians came in this morning. It was the Admiral Tchabanenko, an anti-submarine warfare ship. The ship had a very dark grey hull and what struck me as a 1960's design. Officers wore broad brimmed hats, enlisted men wore bright blue uniforms with small caps. She was in town to take part in a exercise with ships from the US and a few other nations.
I like boats, I like ships. I like being around the water front.
At first I thought that was the new Russian flag (I'm not much of a historian, but even I knew that the hammer and sickle design went away when the Soviet Union broke up). But no, it is the Russian Navy Jack.
I did not get much of a chance to interact with the sailors. But they seemed very friendly, very excited to be in a US port. Very few of the sailors spoke English, but I heard talk of the beaches and amusement parks. And hot weather.
It is hard for me to think that I was raised in the 60's and 70's with the notion that these people were our enemies. Maybe they are our enemies, I'm always a bit naive about that sort of thing. But on a personal level, these seemed like good people. And I was glad to have met them.