Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Birthday...USA

Today is Independence Day, the birthday of our country. 234 years ago our founding fathers gathered together, placing life and wealth in harm's way and stood up to the world and said we are a free people. There have been many birthdays since then. This nation has gone from 13 50. This nation has gone from a struggling population to an astounding and overwhelming nation. This nation has gone from having to have the French step being the nation to step in and help other smaller and struggling nations.

I know on my blog I am often negative. I know I often talk about politics, policies and other aspects of our government and the crazy people that run it and the even crazier people that vote for them. I have often discussed with Mandy the anger in my blog...indeed...I often use this as my outlet to vent and many time the anger does come through.

This morning I was driving...and had about an hour and half drive to make. I had the radio on and there was a countdown of the top 20 patriotic songs (in country music) as voted by the listeners of the station. I was alone in the car. And I will admit...I cried alot. There is something about songs about this country, songs about our men and women in uniform and the sacrifices they make. Songs that make your heart burst with pride for the country we call home.

There are times I am disappointed in the state of our country. I often disagree about politics, policies and the direction of this country with my conservative friends, family and foes. But today I want to put all that aside. Today for just a few hours I want to forget the GOP and DNC exist. I want to forget the Tea Party crackpots. I want to forget Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachman and Jan Brewer. I want to forget Arizona and its hideous immigration law nightmare. I want to forget all these things...

I want to remember the Red, White and Blue. I want to remember the Soaring Eagle. I want to remember my Dad and my Brother and all the other men and women who have worn the uniform have sacrificed their comfort, their careers, their health, their limbs, their families and in many cases their lives so that this country might continue. I want to remember the picnic I passed in Fairmount, Georgia where a small country town came together to celebrate the birth of our nation.

I want to remember yesterday as I stood with my Dad and my older two children at Turner Field (probably tomorrow's blog) and hat in hand, hands over our hearts stood with thousands of other people and listened to the familiar chords of the Star, Spangled Banner played before the totally Americana words "Let's play ball" were barked by an umpire on field. I wanna remember sitting there in my seats a soft pretzel in hand, looking out over the throng of people, not seeing color, race, party...not hearing the language, the creed or the politics...just seeing my fellow Americans....

I want to remember sitting in that car this morning, hearing Trace Adkins sing "Arlington" the first person view of a soldier that gave his life inthe cause of freedom and was admitted to that hollowed ground. I want to remember the tears of pride and love that streamed down my face from a heart full of emotions. I want to remember the feeling of hearing Garth Brooks sing our national anthem and the chills that run up my back every time I hear those fiddles start winding up for the familiar rendition of George Strait as he sings about the "Heartland".

I want to remember why I love this country, the things that have stuck in my mind through the years like my childhood trip to D.C., our nation's capitol. I want to remember the solemn feeling that came over me at the sight of the Memorial Wall...I want to remember the price of freedom paid by those inscribed on it...and those that knelt beside it weeping, their hands touching the name of some loved one they lost. I want to remember how it felt, to stand in the arched room in the Smithsonian,(pictured above) as the case lowered on the wall and the original Star Spangled Banner that inspired our National Anthem was displayed. The tears that ran down my face even then as a young boy.

I want to remember this Country I love. Sure...tomorrow...or the day after...I will not ignore the elephant in the room (GOP)...I will have plenty of barbs and insults to dish out to Palin, Bachmann and all the other nut cases. I will probably show anger, disillusionment and outrage. I will disagree with the conservatives, bitch about the crack pots and whine about a myriad of other grievances, real and imagined.

But for today...that is unimportant. For today...this is My Country. Those things somehow seem somewhat less significant... For today...those differences are what make us strong...for today...we are One Nation Indivisible with liberty and justice for all.

Thank you to the men and women in uniform who served and sacrificed

the families that sacrificed their loved ones

Stars and Stripes Forever


Mandy said...

beautiful. Very good post, very touching, and what a great thought. If only we could all do that, at least one day a year. We really should all reflect and be grateful for the sacrifices that have brought us here. For the sacrifices that enable you to have a blog wherein you can bitch, moan and get angry.

Beautiful post, love.

Iris Silk said...

As all good Americans, your blood runs red, white, and blue. Witness 9/11. We were not Republican, Democrat, or Independent. We were just American. We all care, we just differ on the solutions. The elephant in the room can also be the "ass" in the room. But we all love our country.

Will Shealy said...

I do have to agree with Mom - true patriotism comes from not putting a political party first. That aside, nicely said, Julio. Though I can't relate to, maybe even detest some of that music, diversity is the cornerstone of this country. I may not like the music, but I agree with the message. Thanks for sharing your feelings so honestly, as always.

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