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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

A True Patriot

I just spent the Fourth of July holiday with the most patriotic person I know...My Sister.  I am grateful for her no-holds-barred attitude when it comes to loving America because there are so many people out there condemning my country, and most of them are Americans themselves. I am anxious about the direction our country is taking these days.  I see millennials marching in the streets protesting Old Glory.  Really?! The Stars and Stripes are to be despised? What???!!! To them it represents evil, oppression, greed, white supremacy and more.  Sad.  I don't even know how to respond to that view.  Do they not know the blood and sacrifices and tribulations that went into the making of that flag?  Do they not know the millions of people around the world that flag has protected and supported?  There is no country in the world who has given so much to others as the USA.  Shame on anyone who is not proud of America.  Yes, she is not perfect, because she is human after all...but she is the closest thing to perfection ever created.  It's time we embrace that fact about her, and celebrate the good.  And hence the reason for this post...Patriotism.  Yes, it is not totally lost.  Take a look at my sister on the Fourth.  Isn't she a hoot? From the top of her head to the tips of her toes she proudly wears the red, white and blue...

Her children roll their eyes and laugh at her, but I am grateful for her unabashed love of our country.  She's not afraid to show her pride.  We need so many more patriots like my sister.  Our country is being stepped on and crushed by leaders as well as the masses, and we need the common devoted patriots who dwell in our land to beat back the negative voices and promote the goodness that is still the heart and soul of America.
Here are just a few of the ways my sister visually shows her support and pride in the USA.

From welcome mats...

to patriotic bunting adorning her home...
to lawn decorations....
my sister's home sings God Bless America.

After 9/11 my sister was so moved, she wanted to do something to support our troops who were fighting in the Middle East, so she created a memorial of sorts for all to see.  It is a mound whose center is graced by Old Glory flying at the top of a flag pole.  Around the pole are life-size military figures in the uniforms of the various military services (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard).  The response to this memorial was astounding.  People knock on her door and thank her; letters of gratitude arrive in her mail. Many times she has thought of taking it down (it's kind of a pain to keep it in good repair) but the public love it and being the patriot that she is, she just can't do it.  It remains a landmark in her neighborhood.  Here is a quick shot of the memorial.

I remember one Fourth of July only a year or two after 9/11, when she invited neighbors to gather around the memorial for a shared reading of The Declaration of Independence.  What a sight that was...yes, some may think it was a bit hokey but, all who attended were touched by a spirit of national pride and a sense of community, and an understanding that we are truly blessed to be living in the most wonderful country in the history of mankind.  And thanks to Sue, we didn't have to be ashamed to show our pride.

My sister is a second grade teacher.  Her students are fortunate to have her.  She celebrates America every day.  They don't have to hear how awful their country is nor are they denied the experience of showing pride.  They actually sing patriotic songs, like God Bless America! They thank the military and the First Responders of their community every year in an assembly on 9/11, thanks to my sister's insistence on recognizing those who serve and protect our country.  She is passing along an awareness of the greatness of America to new generations.  Isn't that what schools are suppose to do...promote the good, and create loyal citizens?  There is at least one person left who knows this is what needs to be done....Thanks Sis.