Patriotism came naturally to me as a kid. Most of the kids I knew had dads who’d been in the service and every now and then even told stories about that time.
Susie Lunsford’s dad, Marsha Williams’s dad, Marsha Hagberg’s dad and Cathy Bayouth’s dad, and I’m sure several more of my friends’ dads, all served.
When the National Anthem was played, we stood at strict attention. C-Town twirlers even had a special salute they did during the song. (I was never a twirler with the band, but if I had a baton, I could show it to you.)
Each morning, we started school by putting our hands over our hearts and saying the Pledge of Allegiance. And we meant every word.
We didn’t have 4th of July parades, but we had lots of fireworks. I doubt if any of us grew up without having a Black Cat go off in our fingers. I remember silly boys who would pretend to smoke a lighted firecracker and end up with blistered lips.
My friend even had a dog who ate firecrackers before they could pop.
Cindy or Lisa (one of my sisters) bit down on a popper (a small, orb-shaped thing that made a tiny explosion when it hit a hard surface) because it looked like the cereal we ate for breakfast. I still wonder what that felt like. 😛
A family in our church sold fireworks every summer. I’m sure they made a lot of money. They might even have paid their way through college doing it, I don’t know. I thought it would be fun to have access to that many explosives, but the long, hot hours in that little building didn’t attract me, and very few fireworks stands are air-conditioned, so I didn’t apply for a job. 😉
It’s funny. As kids, we say or sing the words, stand at attention and go through all the motions without knowing the full reason why. The real, basic, honest-to-goodness reason?
Oh, I know we aren’t REALLY free to do anything, say anything or act anyway we want. That would be anarchy. But we’re free from tyranny. We can remain seated when the flag passes, we don’t have to pledge allegiance or sing the anthem.
We even have the freedom to burn the flag in protest (although it infuriates me to the point I wonder if I have the freedom to smack the burner when I hear about that happening) and no one gets put in jail.
We can disagree with the government and not worry about disappearing in the night or being arrested and put in a concentration camp. Because we’re free.
God. Bless. America.
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chr. 7:14
Praying for healing in our land.
And I’m praying for Lesta Kay.