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My two small children and I arrived at the D-Day reenactment two hours early to stake a place on the beach. When the planes began passing overhead, a crowd seemed to appear out of nowhere, moving in front of us and blocking everything. Suddenly a man who had staked a space near us an hour earlier began to scream, “Down in front! Down in front!”
Everyone around us picked up the chant. And then a very strange thing happened: everyone actually sat down, except for one balding man in a white shirt. He continued standing, ignoring the chanting, staring out into the lake.
“Hey Fabio,” someone shouted, “sit down.”
He ignored the insult.
“Baldy,” someone else yelled, “can’t you hear?”
“Must be one of the 708s–they can’t pay taxes to Chicago, but they sure like to use our beaches.”
“Hey 708, sit down.”
A plane passed over the beach. One of the gunners in the bunker shot into the sky. “Shoot Fabio,” someone yelled. “Get the guy in the white shirt.”
But he never sat down, and in the end everyone around us stood. I took my two children and we pushed our way to the front; other families from around us followed. Got there, too–there’s no one better for pushing through crowds than a small child who can say excuse me.