The "People's Convoy" is coming through our area.
Now, for those of you who may not know about this recent national news development, a group of truckers started traveling Feb. 23 from Adelanto, California, on an 11-day journey ending Saturday in Washington, D.C., where a peaceful protest is to culminate in asking for the State of Emergency COVID-19 mandates be lifted throughout America and in protesting rising gas prices.
Maryland law enforcement has issued statements that there is the potential for the 40-mile long, 2,500-vehicle convoy to travel through Allegany County, Maryland, on Interstate 68 (Grantsville, Finzel and Frostburg, Maryland, going Southeast into Cumberland, Maryland) sometime from noon to 4 p.m. Friday (today). There are also alternate convoys coming from the northern and southern states to converge together in D.C.
After researching online at their website thepeoplesconvoy.org and at their Facebook The People's Convoy, I can't find specific routes and times. It seems as if they update their travel information for the present day only. Yet, the most likely route from Cambridge, Ohio, to Hagerstown, Maryland, is Interstate 68. However, there is also the potential for the convoy to head straight on the Pennsylvania Turnpike and go through Somerset.
So we can only guess or check their website early today to see if something is posted for those interested in watching them go by in Maryland. And, if you are interested, you won't be the only ones. Standing-room-only crowds line bridges and roads watching and waving at them as they pass by. This convoy has created quite a stir in the American people.
According to a Newsweek article written by Katherine Fung and posted on Feb. 22, the truckers got their inspiration from the Freedom Convoy in Canada, which occupied Ottawa for 24 days to protest the federal vaccine mandate for cross-border commercial truck drivers. While Ottawa police cleared out the remaining demonstrators, arrested 191 people and towed 57 vehicles, the American convoy wants to travel in "peace and unity" (says their website). They want to be "100 percent law abiding" and at the same time "demand government accountability through full and transparent congressional hearings" according to their website.
Whether anyone agrees with this movement or not, the American people (and the rest of the world for that matter) are waking up to the reality that the government isn't what it used to be. Those things have changed in so many ways.
I never thought I would see a convoy of this magnitude in my lifetime and while in my youth, we all heard the famous "Convoy" song that became a number one song on both the country and pop charts in the U.S. in 1975, according to Wikipedia. The song capitalized on the fad for citizens band (CB) radio and the song was the inspiration for the 1978 Sam Peckinpah hugely successful film Convoy, for which C.W. McCall (a character co-created and voiced by Bill Fries, along with Chip Davis) re-recorded the song to fit the film's storyline, says Wikipedia.
It was a song, of course, of none other than rebels — something this country was founded upon. And, while the scenario in the song is falsified, the truckers were protesting the then 55 mile an hour speed limit and the requirements (mandates) of trucker logs for driving hours. In the song and movie, they drove coast to coast and broke through toll lines. It was like a fight song back then and still memorable in our minds today. And, back then, the Smokey and the Bandit movies (Burt Reynolds and Sally Field) made CB radios an obsession. We can still see Snowman (Jerry Reed) at the big wheel of his 18-wheeler on his CB.
Today's American trucker should no doubt still have a strong voice because they are the ones who haul all these products to all these places. The American trucker is someone we can all identify with in a personal, humble manner. He or she works long, hard hours and shares the road with us. And, whether we agree with this People's Convoy or not, these peaceful truckers are bringing attention to government control and how it has entered our lives to this degree in the past few years. We are all wondering when things will get better. That's all.
So, if you are around on Friday on Interstate 68 (possibly the route but check their website early) to see this convoy, maybe you'll hear these old lines that have now become relevant in 2022:
This article originally appeared on The Daily American: People's Convoy coming through Maryland March 4, 2022