Saturday, July 4, 2009
"...we live in the land of the free because of the brave." Brad Arnold, 3 Doors Down
Yesterday while I was driving around picking up, dropping off, and making last minute trips to the grocery store for Independence Day BBQ supplies, I found myself noticing the American flags proudly waving in the breeze all across front porches in town. It made me smile and look for more. I am just as opinionated about the politics that this country's leaders have chosen to be invovled in and although I claim ignorance when it comes to keeping abreast of world affairs on a regular basis, I don't turn a blind eye to the watered down chaos that rolls across the evening news weekly. I tend to find myself buried in pointless arguments on religion, abortion, same-sex marriage, and the like and inevitably I always arrive at the same conclusion in the everlasting debate: no matter what your opinion or the need to protest and label anyone who has an opposing opinion, I am nothing but proud to be an American. I am insanely proud of my rights to speak freely and act upon the freedoms that this nation's people have fought, lived, and died for. I am thankful as a woman in this world that I was born where I was in the time that I was born. As part of my dash, I pray that I always get to keep those freedoms and I am trying to be more in tune with how those are paid for.
Happens to be that this time last year I was in Hawaii to see 3 Doors Down perform at a military fundraiser on Kanaohe Marine Corp Base on Oahu. In my quest to seek out as much live music in as many locals as possible, I landed in this crowd of service man and women sloshing beer and shouting like all rock fans do, but this crowd was just different. This crowd swelled with pride everytime Brad Arnold thanked them for their service and serenaded them with his sweet Southern voice on a humid Hawaiian summer night. It was something to be in that audience with my 20 year old sister on 4th of July weekend and hearing those lyrics "On that day, when you need your brothers and sisters to care, I'll be right here" and looking around at the faces next to me and see that these are the men, women, and families who make it so.
On my way home from Southern California about a week ago, I came across a long convoy of military vehicles, no doubt, enroute to one of the local military bases coming from God knows where. As the scenery faded from 18-wheeleers to camoflauged canvas toped humvees, I wondered if those same tires that rolled down I-5 had carried soldiers to and from their posts in a desert far, far away. Just as I was making that observation, it dawned on me that just about every single driver was young. Real young. Definitley younger than I am, and very easily younger than my brother or my sister. While I passed each vehicle, I snuck a glance at the driver next to me, and it also became very apparent to me that there is an entire generation of young adults who have grown up in this country during a state of war. I remember the first Gulf War and seeing the images but not quite understanding them. I was 10 then and I could not imagine by any stretch what it could have been looking at those images face to face as a new high school graduate. 10 years past my high school graduation and well into a career I look at the war we have waged for many, many years now and I give heartfelt thanks to the hudreds of thousands of soldiers who have sworn to lay down their lives for the life that I love and live every day.
God Bless our freedom.
God Bless our soliders.
God Bless America.