Wednesday, November 11, 2009
I was always a patriotic little child. My first favorite song that I can remember was "The Star-Spangled Banner." LOVED IT.
My second favorite song was the jingle from the Crystal Light commercials in the 80s, but I don't know if jingles count for anything. Crystal Light, 'cuz I believe in me.
My next favorite song as a child was "God Bless the USA" by Lee Greenwood. It still is one of my faves. I don't know what it is about hearing that scratchy voice from that bearded man sing, "And I'm proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free...," but it still gets me choked up to this day. And should I hear it on the radio in my car, that puppy is getting turned UP.
All this to say, I don't know when my heart began to bend toward a love for my country. But it was natural to me. I don't remember being taught these things...they just always were within me. We have done our best to teach Abigail about the importance of soldiers and what they do for to fight for our freedoms. I know that it may be years before she understands the depth of these things, but I still love to see her say the Pledge of Allegiance or tell me with a little bit of awe in her voice that she just saw a soldier.
We were in McDonald's a couple of weeks ago, and there was a woman there, dressed in Army fatigues. Abigail got up really close to me and said, "Mommy, I didn't know there were GIRL soldiers!" In her world, there are very distinct lines of what girls do and what boys do. She is always telling us something is a "boy" thing to do, until we expand her thinking a little more to say that girls do a lot of the same things.
On a day like today, I'm glad that our country gives pause to celebrate and honor our veterans. Even though I am sad for the reason, I appreciate seeing flags everywhere flying at half-staff in memory of those who gave the greatest sacrifice one can give, of their very lives for the freedom of others. It is so much of Jesus, and so not a natural part of our human selves. I know many soldiers may never get the full appreciation they deserve, or see the spiritural parallels in the work they do. But I do think a soldier is the closest earthly picture we may see of great sacrifice. To think that Jesus went even beyond that, to give His own life for a fallen, sinful world, to lay himself on an alter that no other sacrifice could fulfill will forever amaze my mind and heart.