4th of July was a great day to celebrate. Not only a celebration of our terrific daughter in law Chelsea's Birthday, but also the time to acknowledge, and truly feel proud of our independence that our fore fathers worked so hard to establish.
After a fun picnic at church on Saturday before, then a very patriotic service at church, Tony and I were ready to go to the Morse's home for the picnic, delicious food, and great company. Each year they invite friends and family to enjoy dinner, and watch the Happy Valley fireworks from the back deck. We had front row seats of a beautiful display.
I would have to say the real hi light however was to visit with Travis Morse, who we haven't gotten to know very well. He was able to get leave from the Air Force, and come home for a couple of weeks to surprise his folks, which was great for us as well to get to know him better, and also a time for us to thank him for his much appreciated service to continue to preserve those Freedoms that we all enjoy.
How I wish that all could feel this great pride for this Land that we live, and not be ashamed or just take it for granted. What happened to the united feelings from 9-11 ? Everywhere you looked was a sea of flags waving proudly, wheather it be in front of homes, on cars, along fence posts, or on businesses. Each time I saw a flag my heart would swell, and the emotions would begin. This year was a different year however. As we drove to Church, then to Happy Valley I saw 4 flags. One at our home, one across the street, and two on the way up the hill that were old, faded, tattered and forgotten. Is this what we are teaching the children now about this land that we live? I feel it is time to regain that enthusiasm and pride. Stand up for what we know in our hearts is sacred, and feel the great appreciation once again for our Flag, and all it stands for.
A gray-haired man, a little bent with age, stood as tall as he could with his hand over his heart as his country's flag passed by. Standing next to him, his grandson noticed a tear run down the old man's cheek. "Grandpa," he said, "Are you OK? Why are you crying?"
"I'm just fine," replied the grandfather. "I just love that flag, my flag."
What is there about a flag that makes us feel so proud and willing to give so much? An athlete will strive with all her might for the right to stand on the podium as her flag is raised in honor of her victory. A soldier will risk life and limb to raise his flag over a conquered battlefield. Patriots young and old pause in reverence, their hearts beating a little faster, when they see their flag unfold in the breeze.
Each of us has a land we call our own. We all feel connected to a country by virtue of our heritage or loyalty. And nothing seems to touch so deeply our love of country as that almost sacred fabric, woven with pattern and color, that we call our flag. Whether it is waving over a schoolhouse or a field of combat, the sight of our flag inspires courage, hope, gratitude, and unity.
The bond of common citizenship represented by our flag unites us in spite of differences of race, religion, or politics. When people who share our flag are in distress, we reach out to meet their needs and defend their rights. The allegiance we pledge to our flag is, at its heart, a promise to help one another.
An old man sheds a tear as the flag passes by. A young man begins to understand what those colors represent. And all of us, no matter which banner we salute, say with pride, "I love that flag, my flag."
Happy Independence Day ! ! !