On days devoted to whitewater boating, 500-700 cubic feet of water flows through the Tallulah Gorge every second. A cool mist rises to meet hikers from around the world swaying in awe 80 feet above on a suspension bridge.
The eastern tiger swallowtail clings to a red maple limb.
I ran into a former student and his family Friday evening while rounding a sharp curve along the Greenway. The oldest of four under ten was riding a blue mountain bike. I challenged him to a race, so we peddled furiously down a straightaway for a hundred yards or so, then slowed in the forest under a shower of maple helicopters.
I remember throwing handfuls of twirling maple wings into the air as a child, imagining a dizzying ride aboard a miniature single-seater.
Flanked by maples, the Dillingham Street bridge spans the Chattahoochee River, connecting Columbus, Georgia and Phenix City, Alabama. Each November, thousands converge in solidarity at the gates of Fort Benning in Columbus in an effort to shut down The School of the Americas, now called the “Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation.”
Below is a recording taken while leaving the solemn procession which ended in approximately 20 indiscriminate arrests, including journalists, a 90-year old Jesuit priest, and a local barber who stepped out of his shop to watch the march.
Initially established in Panama in 1946, it was kicked out of that country in 1984 under the terms of the Panama Canal Treaty. Former Panamanian President, Jorge Illueca, stated that the School of the Americas was the “biggest base for destabilization in Latin America.” The SOA, frequently dubbed the “School of Assassins,” has left a trail of blood and suffering in every country where its graduates have returned.
Over its 59 years, the SOA has trained over 60,000 Latin American soldiers in counterinsurgency techniques, sniper training, commando and psychological warfare, military intelligence and interrogation tactics. These graduates have consistently used their skills to wage a war against their own people. Among those targeted by SOA graduates are educators, union organizers, religious workers, student leaders, and others who work for the rights of the poor. Hundreds of thousands of Latin Americans have been tortured, raped, assassinated, “disappeared,” massacred, and forced into refugee by those trained at the School of Assassins.