Sitting in the kitchen while I wait for a cake to come out of the oven. It’s a flag cake. You know the one – blueberries, raspberries, white icing. Dogs are lying on the kitchen floor trying to stay cool and the cats are where ever cats go at this time of day. The Dude is in the garage listening to the radio and fixing the lawn tractor. It’s a sunny summer day, the air conditioning is working, the fridge is filled with food for the upcoming BBQ, and overall life is good.
This is when I start to think about how blessed we all are.
I was never particularly patriotic when I was in my 20’s and 30’s. Sure I enjoyed the Fourth of July fireworks, and I was even a bit moved when I would hear “The Star Spangled Banner.” But I wasn’t a flag waver, God forbid. It just wasn’t cool. I think the reason for my patriotic disconnect, for lack of a better word, was because I had never experienced our country in war-time.
Oh sure, I remember Viet Nam vaguely. When I was a little girl I remember my parents watching the news at night as Walter Cronkite spoke in a somber voice about the number of soldiers killed in the various battles. I knew it wasn’t good, but to a young kid, with no family in the military at that time, it just didn’t seem “real.”
Like so many others, my views changed on September 11, 2001. That is the day it became “real” for me. This isn’t a post about September 11th, because so much has been written in the past. We all know where we were, how it felt, and how our behaviors changed in the days, weeks, and months after that horrific day.
What this post is about is my finally becoming aware of just how good we have it in this amazing country. Thank God that by the luck of the draw I was born here. I can go pretty much where I want, live where I want, pray how I want, love who I want, wear what I want, and yes, even say what I want, even if it is against the government!
No matter what your political stance, just think for a moment about the people who have answered the call to protect those freedoms I’ve listed. Don’t get me wrong, I want nothing more than peace in this world. I don’t consider myself a “hawk,” and politically I’m pretty much a middle of the road kind of gal. Not too far left, and not too far right on most issues. But as we celebrate another 4th of July, think about the men and women in uniform who won’t be home to enjoy the cold beer and hot dogs. Who won’t be spending time at the lake or the beach, or watching fireworks on a warm summer night with their sweetheart.
Could I do what they do? Absolutely not. And I can’t imagine what their families go through as they wait for them to come home.
The video below made the rounds on Facebook a while back. It’s about coming home. Grab a tissue and watch. And then go out and celebrate what a great country we live in. Oh, and say thanks to a vet if you get the opportunity!