For the past three years, I’ve attended meetings, presentations and rallies, signed postcards, written letters and hoped that the U.S. Navy would minimize their presence in the skies over the Salish Sea, the Olympic Peninsula, San Juan Islands, Coupeville and Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve.
The hope ended this week following the announcement by the secretary of the Navy, which basically said, “Hell no, we’re going to do what we wanted to do from the very beginning.”
And they are.
On the first day of spring, a day with a record-breaking high temperature, I did what anyone who loves to garden would do: grabbed my trowel and gloves, seed packets and headed outside to enjoy the beautiful day.
My dog and two cats joined me, curled in the sunshine. I had barely started digging when wham.
Here “they” came. They, of course, being the dreaded Growlers.
The cats and dog raced to the house. I covered my ears, left everything on the ground and ran inside. Once inside, I closed all the windows and doors on a beautiful 75 degree day.
Eventually, the jets left and I ventured back outside. In less than 30 minutes, they returned. Back inside we went. This pattern continued until 11 p.m.
What’s ahead? A summer of deafening jet noise, day and night, doors and windows shut, pets cowering and me, a captive in my own house.
The Navy has no intention of collaborating with its neighbors, but they are not going to win. This island does not belong to the Navy. It belongs to the people of Washington state. All the people.
You don’t have to live here to care about what is happening. Stand with the many people who are taking on the military and fighting to preserve our homes, businesses and Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve. The battle has just begun.
“This land is my land, this land is your land … this land was made for you and me.”