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Reporter's Notebook: 'On Triumph... And Air Conditioning'

Tom Bullock

Every now and then our political reporter, Tom Bullock, hears something from the General Assembly that isn't really news, but is worth noting. Here's Tom's latest reporter's notebook entry titled 'On Triumph and Air Conditioning.'

If you listen to the audio streams from the General Assembly long enough you'll notice a particular hum.  The sound of air being pushed through the old ducts and vents. Today, that hum was gone. "Members you'll notice it’s a bit hotter today," House Speaker Tim Moore stated dryly, "In order to get through the budget process we've decided to turn the air conditioner off until the budget is adopted." Personally, I'd be down with that.

But Speaker Moore quickly fessed up, the AC is busted. A needed part must be flown in from out of state. Political quips ensued. First from Democrat Mickey Michaux, "That part isn't coming from Washington DC is it?"

Then from Republican David Lewis. "The plane was diverted through Moscow. I apologize for the inconvenience."

Did not see that joke coming from a Republican.

Anyway, despite the heat in the House chamber a bevy of speeches ensued after the official business was done. Congratulations to local high school sports teams for winning state championships. And a nod to the Davidson baseball team for still being in the hunt for their own.

But the longest speech came from Republican Craig Horn of Union County. A nod to a triumph long ago but still worth noting, especially today.

"Today is the 6th of June. At 1:51 am on the 6th of June, 1944, North Carolinians in the 82nd Airborne, the All Americans, North Carolinians in the 101st Airborne, the Screaming Eagles, jumped into the dark skies over a little known area in France called Normandy. At 6:30 am American troops of the 29th Division and the First Division landed on Utah Beach and Omaha Beach, as well as on other beaches, Gold, Juno, Sword. More than 8,500 North Carolinians gave up their lives for our tomorrows, not theirs. War is a terrible thing. But it's not the most terrible thing. The most terrible thing is to be without hope. North Carolinians, Americans, gave the world hope on this day, 73 years ago."

A moment now always remembered as D-Day.