Some days are busier than others. Last Saturday was one of those days when my schedule was full; and the longer the day lasted, the more requirements that day’s events demanded of my time. I jumped into the car to run a quick errand to the other side of town. My mind was working like the hard drive on my computer – processing. Side tracked by the line up of tasks and calculating the most efficient way to organize the duties, I hardly noticed anything as I drove. I was lost in my own thoughts.
Having completed the job at hand, I jumped into the car and headed down Main Street to return home. “One more duty done; dozens left to do,” I was thinking to myself as I continued my internal monologue and strategy session. All of a sudden, my attention was refocused as my eyes caught an inspiring sight. Lining Main Street, on both sides of the road, were American flags posted about every ten feet or so. The wind was blowing and catching the fabric, creating what looked like a waving sea of red, white, and blue. Instantly I was transported out of my world of self-absorption by the sight of this icon of patriotism.
Some songs trigger nostalgia; some smells evoke feelings; and some sights activate memories. The sight of the flags that day set off a plethora of thoughts and emotions within me. Tears instantly filled my eyes. My heart swelled with pride over this great land of liberty. A gentle, grateful smile emerged on my face as my contemplation focused upon my country.
These are difficult days for freedom. But then, freedom has never been free of difficulty nor has freedom ever been free. From the inception of our nation, freedom emerged from sacrifice. Liberty was purchased as lives were lost, blood was shed, and heroes were born. Our history records the names of those heroes and our holidays memorialize their deeds. Yesterday’s soldiers bought today’s freedom, while today’s troops wage war to guarantee tomorrow’s independence.
Seeing the flag of our great nation displayed in tribute to our land and in honor of our soldiers currently engaged in combat reminded me to be grateful – grateful for America. Driving past the ensigns of our sovereign land, I found a soft prayer flowing from my lips. I prayed for the men and women in our armed forces that have placed their lives in harm’s way. I prayed for our President and his advisors, as the weight of their decisions will shape the course of nations and history. I prayed for protection and ultimately peace. I asked that other nations might also be graced as we have been with liberty and prosperity. Tears fell from my eyes in tandem with words of thanksgiving that fell from my lips.
My busy day continued but my meditations and considerations were refocused by my trip down Main Street, USA. From the heart of its cities and the heart of its citizens, may this nation continue to herald a visible and vocal tribute to liberty and justice for all. Thank you, city managers and leaders, for displaying our great flag.
Happy Fourth of July!