Happy birthday, America!

Today is the Fourth of July.  Independence Day.  America’s birthday.  And on this day, I’ve got something to share with you.

All gave some. Some gave all. Some stood through for the red, white and blue, and some had to fall. And if you ever think of me, think of all your liberties and recall some gave all.
Photo by Kay Kauffman

The lyrics in the caption are from the Billy Ray Cyrus song, “Some Gave All.”  I’ve always loved that song and on a day like today, when we honor those who fought and died for our independence, I find those words especially fitting.

The picture is from the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at my hometown cemetery and was taken on Memorial Day a year ago.  One of the things my hometown cemetery does on holidays like Memorial Day, Independence Day, and the like is to put up flags along the drives.  I know a lot of cemeteries do this, but the sight of so many flags fluttering gently in the breeze never fails to stir my soul.  What makes it so special for me is that, in my hometown cemetery, the central drive is lined on each side by a row of pine trees.  I love how stately the trees look, lined up side by side, keeping silent watch over the residents of the cemetery, eternally on guard for whatever might come their way.   The flags are like their dress uniforms, put on for special occasions.

I know that right now, America is not the most popular country in the world, and that’s okay.  I know that because of some of our foreign policies, we’ve made a lot of people around the world pretty angry with us, and I can’t say that I blame them.  But today is America’s birthday, so I’m going to celebrate it with pride because, despite my government’s many, many, many mistakes, I really do love my country and I really am proud to be an American (though I’m not always proud of some of the decisions my government has made or some of the actions they have taken and I’m usually quite disgusted with the majority of the politicians in office at any given point in time and with the current state of politics in general, but that’s another rant for another time).  So today I’m going to bask in the frigidness of an air conditioner that still works (even if it’s struggling to keep up), enjoy some time with my family and friends, and maybe even take in the fireworks tonight…if I can stay awake that long.

Happy birthday, America!

(c) 2012.  All rights reserved.


Thoughts: You got 'em, I want 'em!

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