Meanwhile, I just got off the train at Harvard Stadium and I'm walking through the Yard, but I have to stop for the procession of graduates walking through it. Because this is the day of the Harvard Graduation. I'm told to move out of the yard, since this is a ticketed event for the grads and their family.
As I walk out of the yard, I watch the ceremony play out. The invocation is given by the pastor of St. Paul's Catholic Church, the Latin oration is read by given by a 22 year old lady from Germany, a Greek oration is given by a Canadian young man, a Hebrew oration follows by a Jewish girl from Tokyo, and of course there are the 2 English addresses. There's all kinds of hooting and hollering during each address as the people listen attentively and cheer the orators.
As I arrive at my hot dog stand, I watch lots of people watching the ceremony on an Ultra High Definition TV with a choir singing a selection by the Hebrew orator from Japan. Seconds after they finish, a group of Japanese give a cheer for their country woman.
And with that comes the conferral of degrees, which is symbolic in nature(the actual diplomas are given during luncheons at the various schools and residence houses later on). Meanwhile, I'm selling hot dogs in the square(thank God for communications). In addition to the feed, it's being broadcast on cable across New England and on the web around the world.
The first honorary degree is a pro-life advocate who uses plants as an alternative to embyonic stem cells for research into neurological diseases. Most of the people boo him while others give him a "three cheers" over many times. Another is a Norweigan composer whose Requiem for a Princess was used during Cardinal Sean's recently Pontificial Requiem Mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross. Others include a decorated war hero from the Persian Gulf War, the President of the Gaelic Athletic Association of Ireland, the Archbishop of Detroit(who recently went against Church teaching and called for same sex marriage in his city's Catholic churches), and the producer of the year's multi-Oscar winning movie about the Battle of Armageddon.
"That rotten bastard!" a customer says.
"The man who created the Armageddon film?" I ask.
"No," he tells me, "the Archbishop of Detroit. How dare he spit on his own Church teaching and announcing that he rejoices in 'equal marriage,' which is supposed to be a non-negotiable issue for us Catholics." He watches the crowd booing as the Archbishop receives his honorary degree. "You oughta be excommunicated!" the man shouts at the Ultra HDTV.
I smile at his comment.
To be continued...