June 27, 2011

I love this time of year

I love the Fourth of July and I love the American Flag. Nothing can get my heart stirring and lips trembling quite like the American Flag. Oh yeah, the Lone Star Flag moves me too, but when I see the American Flag, my pride manifests inside me like Old Faithful and I always end up watering my cheeks. I always think of the men and women that came before us, that lost their lives in order for all to remain free and to be able to hoist Ole' Glory when and where we want to.

I live close to Keene, Texas and this pic is one of two impressive flag displays the city never fails to erect for a national holiday.  This particular picture is on US Hwy 67, just out of Alvarado and near the Keene city limits. The other display is on the main boulevard going into Keene, for over 3/4 of a mile, there are flags erected every 15 or 20 feet. Dozens and dozens of flags on both sides. An impressive display for sure.

We are a week away from the Fourth of July celebration and it's my favorite patriotic holiday. Of course after faithfully serving my country for 23 wonderful years with the United States Navy, I naturally love Memorial Day and Veterans day, and Flag day. But we wouldn't be able to celebrate any of those days if it had not been for a bunch of rag-tag men, largely outnumbered by a superior force with better training. But during the Revolutionary War, an army five times larger than the American army would not have been able to defeat the will of this fledgling group of men dedicated to ensuring this nations freedom. It was Gods will that the United States of America be born to show the rest of the world what can happen when a nation puts God first and then the people, in that order.

My wife and I are participating in a small parade on Monday in Keene. Several cute little girls are going to be sitting high and waving to the crowds from the back of the convertibles or from the bed of a large pickup truck. I try to go to at least one Fourth of July parade each year, because I always want to remember the sacrifices the early patriots made to ensure I could go. So I feel it's my duty to show my American pride. Yeah, it'll be hot, steamy and miserable, but you know what? What about the men that followed Washington across the Delaware River on Christmas Day in 1776, frozen to the core, some with nothing but rags to cover their feet? Or not having the modern conveniences of heat or those handy little hand warmers to keep the frostbite away? I can't even begin to understand the misery those gallant and brave men endured on the way to victory and freedom for our wonderful nation. So it puts a bustle in my hedgeroll to hear people say "It's too hot to go to a parade today. I'm just gonna sit here in the house under the a/c and watch a parade on TV". In the words of Forrest Gump, "That's all I have to say about that".

So on this Fourth of July, please make an effort to get out and support our heroes from yesterday and to cheer on the little ones that will be excited to be running, riding or walking down the road, because their sacrifices shouldn't be taken in vain either. I challenge each and every one of you to go out on Monday and enjoy the parade of your choice. Take pictures, lots of 'em, post them on your website, Facebook, MySpace or what ever other social network you might be a part of. I promise, someone will tell you "thank you".

As I sit here writing this short note, I can feel myself welling up inside. I keep a small, desk-sized flag in my office, right in front of me so everyone can see it when they walk in. My pride and love of country is sometimes more than I can take and I often lose control of my emotions. Each time I hear the Star Spangled Banner or America the Beautiful or any patriotic song that we all grew up singing in grade school, I feel a deep sense of pride and belonging. I love my country and I love my flag and I love that by the grace of our living God, that I was born and live here in the United States of America.

God bless you all and have a fantastic Fourth of July!

The Impulsive Texan